Testing for latent tuberculosis infection using interferon gamma release assays in commercial sex workers at an outreach clinic in Birmingham

Int J STD AIDS. 2016 Jul;27(8):676-9. doi: 10.1177/0956462415619261. Epub 2015 Nov 20.


This report demonstrates that using interferon gamma release assays to screen for latent tuberculosis infection in female commercial sex workers in an outreach sexual health clinic is feasible and acceptable. Routine interferon gamma release assay use successfully identified high numbers of latent tuberculosis infection. Innovative approaches to treatment and follow up were required to improve treatment adherence in this group. Direct observation of therapy within the sexual health clinic was also feasible. Successful follow up was dependent on the support of outreach workers, interpreters and tuberculosis nurses.

Keywords: IGRA; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Screening; interferon gamma release assay; latent infection; sex workers; tuberculosis; women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interferon-gamma / analysis*
  • Interferon-gamma Release Tests / methods*
  • Latent Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Latent Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Latent Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Latent Tuberculosis / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Workers*
  • Young Adult


  • Interferon-gamma