The IGRA TB test for healthcare worker screening
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified healthcare workers as individuals with high-risk for TB infection due to the setting and context where they work.
Protocols for screening for active TB disease are typically more well-established given the clearer threat these TB disease cases present to the patient and community overall.
The hidden threat of latent TB infection (LTBI) can be dealt with through a reduction in employee health risk and community transmission.
When spending time and money on implementing healthcare worker screening and especially in BCG-vaccinated populations, you want a test that can provide you with a fast and accurate result that allows you to immediately triage who you ultimately choose to treat with preventative TB treatment.
High reproducibility for serial testing
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO), released new Guidelines on the Management of Latent Tuberculosis (LTBI). These guidelines outline WHO’s recommendations for many different aspects of LTBI.
They mention the recommendation that systematic testing and treatment of LTBI should be considered for healthcare workers from high TB burden countries.
A moment of truth
When implementing healthcare worker TB screening protocols, you need an answer you can trust that lowers your risk of conversions and reversions in your screening population. Furthermore, a positive test result means starting treatment that protects both the healthcare worker, the hospital, and the overall community from a deadly risk. A negative test result may spare your healthcare worker exposure to powerful antibiotics and allow them to continue working without interference. You need an answer you can trust. An accurate TB test and a clinical evaluation will give you that answer. By finding and treating TB, you are doing your part to help eradicate TB.
The T-SPOT.TB test advantage
The reliability of the T-SPOT.TB test in low-risk healthcare personnel screening has been extensively studied and demonstrates favorable performance. A landmark study assessed the T-SPOT.TB test performance in greater than 42,000 serial tests across 19 geographically diverse sites that were screening its employees. These sites varied in TB risk.2
- 98.9% concordance rate
- 0.8% mean conversion rate (negative result converting to a positive result)
- T-SPOT.TB results are strongly correlated to known patient and community TB risk factors
- This study suggests the T-SPOT.TB test is a reliable tool for healthcare worker screening