Diagnosis of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection: is the demise of the Mantoux test imminent?

  title={Diagnosis of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection: is the demise of the Mantoux test imminent?},
  author={J. S. Rothel and Peter Andersen},
  journal={Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy},
  pages={981 - 993}
  • J. Rothel, P. Andersen
  • Published 1 December 2005
  • Medicine, Biology
  • Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
Tuberculosis is responsible for more then 2 million deaths worldwide each year and vies with HIV as the world’s most fatal infectious disease. In many developing countries, attempts to control the spread of infection rely solely on identification and treatment of those with active disease, ignoring subclinical infection. However, in developed countries, large efforts are also expended to identify and give prophylactic drugs to people with latent tuberculosis infection. Until recently, the 100… 
Tuberculin skin test: review article
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The main advantage of the new tests is the absence of interference with BCG and non-tuberculous mycobacteria, which confers high specificity on the test, which allows a more selective choice of persons for whom preventive treatment is indicated.
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Tuberculin skin testing (TST) and Interferon-gamma (IFNγ)release assays (IGRAs) are presently the only available assays for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infected individuals. IGRAs
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This study confirms the presence of ESAT-6 and CFP-10 antibodies in patients with TB, and demonstrates that significant antibody responses are not restricted to active TB disease but can reflect latent infection, particularly in areas with high levels of exposure to M. tuberculosis.
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In bacille Calmette–Guérin-vaccinated individuals, the Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific enzyme-linked immunospot assay is a better indicator for the risk of latent tuberculosis infection than the tuberculin skin test.


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The tuberculin skin test for immunologic diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection has many limitations, including being confounded by bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination or exposure
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The QTF-TB test addresses the operational problems with the tuberculin skin test, but it still has a low specificity in populations vaccinated with the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine.
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