Research Article Open Access

Analysis of Interferon-Gamma Release Assay Results for Latent Tuberculosis Infection Diagnosis at a Referral Clinical Laboratory in South Korea

Tae Soung Kim1, Ga Yeon Kim2, Young Ki Lee3 and Jae Kyung Kim3
  • 1 Department of Clinical Pathology, Graduate School of Dankook University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea
  • 2 Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Dankook University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea
  • 3 Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, College of Health and Welfare, Dankook University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea

Abstract

The world health organization states that individuals with Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI) are infected with Tuberculosis (TB) bacteria but do not show symptoms of active disease. However, they are at possibility of developing vigorous TB and potentially transmitting the illness to others. In 2018, South Korea reported a 14.8% positivity rate in LTBI screening, with higher rates observed among older individuals, those with lower incomes and women. Furthermore, approximately one in four people worldwide has LTBI. LTBI within certain groups is often the result of prolonged, cumulative and close contact with infected individuals. In this study, we aimed to analyze the current scenario regarding LTBI in South Korea, where large groups are being tested utilizing the Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA). From 2019-2022, 219,459 cases with IGRA results obtained from a referral clinical laboratory in Yongin city were investigated. This research was accepted by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Dankook university. The specimens were collected in QuantiFERON® gold plus Tubes (TB) (Qiagen GmbH, Hilden, Germany) and interferon-gamma activity was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Dynex technologies, Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, USA). multinomial logistic regression analysis was performed to study the association among age, sex and LTBI confirmed by IGRAs. The p-value for sex was less than 0.001, indicating a significantly higher positivity rate in women than that in men. Additionally, the positivity rate decreased in both sexes from 2019-2022. Notably, the highest positivity rates were observed in 50-59-year age set, with men at 1.32% and women at 2.33%. As testing frequency increased, the probability of detecting positive results also increased. Continuous IGRA testing is recommended for individuals in the 50-59-year age group. Regular and extensive testing is recommended for healthcare workers, military personnel, prisoners and students. Therefore, the pros and cons of IGRA can be analyzed and it is believed that it can be helpful for public health.

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Volume 19 No. 4, 2023, 292-297

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajbbsp.2023.292.297

Submitted On: 11 August 2023 Published On: 25 October 2023

How to Cite: Kim, T. S., Kim, G. Y., Lee, Y. K. & Kim, J. K. (2023). Analysis of Interferon-Gamma Release Assay Results for Latent Tuberculosis Infection Diagnosis at a Referral Clinical Laboratory in South Korea. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 19(4), 292-297. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajbbsp.2023.292.297

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Keywords

  • Interferon-Gamma
  • Interferon-Gamma Releasing Assay
  • Latent Tuberculosis Infection
  • Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
  • Quantiferon Tb Gold Plus