Interferon gamma release assays and the NICE 2011 guidelines on the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis

Helen R. Mujakperuo*, Richard D. Thompson, David R. Thickett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this clinical audit, we assessed retrospectively the current practice of respiratory physicians with respect to interferon gamma (IFNγ) release assay (IGRA) testing for tuberculosis (TB), as recommended by the 2011 National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the diagnosis and management of TB. All IGRAs requested by respiratory physicians over a 3-year period were identified retrospectively, and both results and clinical indications analysed. Of the total number of IGRAs carried out, 90% formed part of investigations of suspected active TB. However, 89% of the patients had not had a documented Mantoux test and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status was unclear in the 35.2% of patients treated for active TB. Of patients with chest X-rays suggestive of TB, 92.3% were treated for active TB. Of the patients under the age of 35 with reactive IGRAs, 84.6% were treated for active or latent TB and 15.4% had justifiable reasons for not receiving chemoprophylaxis. Based on the results of our audit, IGRAs are commonly being utilised for the investigation of active TB, which is contrary to current guidance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-366
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Chemoprophylaxis
  • Interferon gamma release assays
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tuberculous antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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