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US College Students Needing TB Testing Now Have the Benefit of QFT(TM)
Date:8/28/2008

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Students attending US colleges that require tuberculosis (TB) testing will now benefit from interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA) such as QuantiFERON(R)-TB Gold (QFT(TM)), with the release of update TB testing guidelines from the American College Health Association (ACHA). In the past, students would have been tested with the tuberculin skin test (TST) which is known to suffer from false-positive results due to cross-reactivity with BCG vaccine and commonly encountered environmental non-tuberculous mycobacteria. False-positive TST responses particularly plague students from high TB incidence countries as many of them are vaccinated with BCG at birth. Reading a TST response is subjective and large discrepancies in interpretation can occur between trained professionals. These limitations of the TST can now be overcome through use of QFT.

Studies have shown that QFT is more accurate than the TST as it is not affected by BCG vaccination exposure to non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Greater accuracy means universities have to spend less money and time during the screening process. It streamlines the admission process and provides easier test administration for both universities and students as only one medical consultation is required; results are objective and can be available within 24 hours. Most importantly, treatment is dispensed to individuals truly infected with TB.

Each year US universities/colleges host approximately 500,000 international students. Many of these students come from high TB incidence areas within Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central and South America. The ACHA guidelines build on those issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which state that QFT "can be used in all circumstances in which the TST is currently used" The ACHA recommends screening all incoming students, but particularly targeting those at increased risk for TB, which includes students from count
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SOURCE Cellestis Limited
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