C-Tb, a novel Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 6-kDa early secretory antigenic target/10-kDa culture filtrate protein (ESAT-6/CFP-10)-specific skin test, has high specificity in bacille Calmette-Guerin-vaccinated healthy controls. However, the sensitivity of C-Tb has hitherto not been determined. The objective was to determine the sensitivity of C-Tb in patients with active tuberculosis (TB) in comparison with the tuberculin skin test (TST) and QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT).C-Tb and TST were randomly administered in a double-blinded fashion to one or the other forearm in 253 patients with active TB with or without HIV co-infection. QFT-GIT testing was performed prior to skin testing.Using a receiver operating characteristic curve-derived cut-point of 5 mm, C-Tb sensitivity was similar to QFT-GIT (73.9 (95% CI 67.8-79.3) versus 75.1 (95% CI 69.3-80.2)), and similar in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients (76.7 (95% CI 69.0-83.3) versus 69.5 (95% CI 59.2-78.5)). However, sensitivity was significantly diminished in HIV-infected patients with CD4 counts <100 cells·mm(-3). C-Tb and QFT-GIT combined had significantly higher sensitivity than C-Tb alone (p<0.0001). C-Tb was safe with no significant adverse events. The 5 mm cut-point corresponded to that found in the previously published specificity study (TESEC-04).C-Tb has similar sensitivity compared with QFT-GIT for the diagnosis of M. tuberculosis infection. Sensitivity was reduced only in HIV-infected patients with severe immunosuppression. Further studies in different settings are required to validate the proposed 5 mm cut-point.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01241188.
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