Analytical evaluation of QuantiFERON- Plus and QuantiFERON- Gold In-tube assays in subjects with or without tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2017 Sep;106:38-43. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 Jun 27.


The QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) represents the new QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-tube (QFT-GIT) to identify latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). The main differences is the addition of a new tube containing shorter peptides stimulating CD8 T-cells. Aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of QFT-Plus compared with QFT-GIT in a cross sectional study of individuals with or without tuberculosis (TB). We enrolled 179 participants: 19 healthy donors, 58 LTBI, 33 cured TB and 69 active TB. QFT-Plus and QFT-GIT were performed. The two tests showed a substantial agreement. Moreover we found a similar sensitivity in active TB and same specificity in healthy donors. A higher proportion of the LTBI subjects responded to both TB1 and TB2 compared to those with active TB (97% vs 81%). Moreover, a selective response to TB2 was associated with active TB (9%) and with a severe TB disease, suggesting that TB2 stimulation induces a CD8 T-cell response in absence of a CD4-response. In conclusion, QFT-Plus and QFT-GIT assays showed a substantial agreement and similar accuracy for active TB detection. Interestingly, a higher proportion of the LTBI subjects responded concomitantly to TB1 and TB2 compared to those with active TB, whereas a selective TB2 response associated with active TB.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Latency; Quantiferon; Quantiferon plus; Tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Bacterial Load
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Interferon-gamma Release Tests / methods*
  • Latent Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Latent Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Latent Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • CFP-10 protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • ESAT-6 protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • IFNG protein, human
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Interferon-gamma