A multicentre verification study of the QuantiFERON (R)-TB Gold Plus assay

E. D. Pieterman*, F. G. Liqui Lung, A. Verbon, H. I. Bax, C. W. Ang, J. Berkhout, G. Blaauw, A. Brandenburg, N. D. van Burgel, A. Claessen, K. van Dijk, M. Heron, M. Hooghiemstra, R. Leussenkamp-Hummelink, E. van Lochem, I. H. M. van Loo, B. Mulder, A. Ott, O. Pontesilli, A. ReuwerP. Rombouts, V. Saegeman, M. Scholing, S. Vainio, J. E. M. de Steenwinkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this verification study was to compare the QuantiFERON (R)-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) to the QuantiFERON (R)-TB Gold In Tube (QFT-GIT). The new QFT-Plus test contains an extra antigen tube which, according to the manufacturer additionally elicits a CD8(+) T-cell response above the CD4(+) T-cell response. We assessed the value of this tube in detecting recent latent tuberculosis infections. Methods: Between May 2015 and December 2016, 1031 subjects underwent QFT-Plus and QFT-GIT test. Overall agreement between both tests and performance for different test indications and/or immune states was assessed. A difference of > 0.6 IU/mL interferon-gamma release between the two antigen tubes of the QFT-Plus assay was considered a true difference and used as estimation for CD8(+) T-cell response. Results: Analysis of the QuantiFERON tests resulted in an overall agreement between assays of 95%. Subjects considered to be recently exposed to tuberculosis had significantly more often a true difference in interferon-gamma release compared to all other subjects (p = 0.029). Conclusion: Results of QFT-Plus are highly comparable to QFT-GIT. Although there is an indication that a true difference in interferon-gamma release between the antigen tubes is associated with recent latent tuberculosis infection, the QFT-Plus could not be used to exclude recent exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Tuberculosis
  • Latent tuberculosis infection
  • Interferon-gamma release assay
  • QuantiFERON-TB Gold In Tube
  • QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus
  • CD4


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