Many schools, employers, and other institutions are now asking for a QuantiFERON-TB Gold Blood Test (QFT+ or QFT-Plus) tuberculosis screening, as opposed to the TB skin test. Immunize El Paso now offers the QuantiFERON TB Gold test at each clinic location.
For many years, the best way to determine if someone may have an active tuberculosis infection was to use a skin test. The tuberculin skin test [TST] is implanted just under the skin and then sits for a predetermined amount of time. The reaction to the TST is then judged by the care provider to determine if the result is positive, negative, or inconclusive. The QuantiFERON-TB Gold blood test takes some of the guesswork out of the tuberculosis screening process.
What Are the Advantages of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Blood Test?
This blood test can measure active and latent TB infections in adult patients. Only one visit is required for this blood test instead of multiple visits with the TST, which saves everyone time and money.
- Improved specificity. Instead of needing to visually judge a skin test, there is a set of baseline markers that test results can be compared against universally to determine if a TB infection is present.
- It cannot be boosted. The TST will eventually become an inaccurate measurement of a TB infection because of what is known as the “booster” effect. After several skin tests, it is common for false positives to be read. The QuantiFERON-TB Gold blood test eliminates this effect completely.
- It is accurate. Although the accuracy of this blood test is often better than the TST, it is not appropriate for some individuals. Be sure to speak with your doctor about this TB test and if it could be right for you.
- Learn more by visiting: https://www.quantiferon.com/us/products/quantiferon-tb-gold-plus-us/patient-resources/
Who Should Not Take the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Blood Test?
Besides children, there are certain population groups that are not considered viable candidates for taking this blood test. Anyone who has an altered immune function fits into this category.
Women who are pregnant are not considered candidates for this blood test.
How to get tested
You can visit each clinic at DOWNTOWN: 513 W. San Antonio, Ste B, El Paso, TX 79901; CENTRAL: 6292 Trowbridge, El Paso, TX 79905, or EASTSIDE: 1400 George Dieter, Ste 225, El Paso, TX 79936. For more information call 915-533-3414. You can make an appointment by visiting: APPOINTMENTS.