Pairing QuantiFERON gold in-tube with opt-out HIV testing in a tuberculosis contact investigation in the Southeastern United States.
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Knowing one's HIV status is particularly important in the setting of recent tuberculosis (TB) exposure. Blood tests for assessment of tuberculosis infection, such as the QuantiFERON Gold in-tube test (QFT; Cellestis Limited, Carnegie, Victoria, Australia), offer the possibility of simultaneous screening for TB and HIV with a single blood draw. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of all contacts to a highly infectious TB case in a large meatpacking factory. Twenty-two percent were foreign-born and 73% were black. Contacts were tested with both tuberculin skin testing (TST) and QFT. HIV testing was offered on an opt-out basis. Persons with TST >or=10 mm, positive QFT, and/or positive HIV test were offered latent TB treatment. Three hundred twenty-six contacts were screened: TST results were available for 266 people and an additional 24 reported a prior positive TST for a total of 290 persons with any TST result (89.0%). Adequate QFT specimens were obtained for 312 (95.7%) of persons. Thirty-two persons had QFT results but did not return for TST reading. Twenty-two percent met the criteria for latent TB infection. Eighty-eight percent accepted HIV testing. Two (0.7%) were HIV seropositive; both individuals were already aware of their HIV status, but one had stopped care a year previously. None of the HIV-seropositive persons had latent TB, but all were offered latent TB treatment per standard guidelines. This demonstrates that opt-out HIV testing combined with QFT in a large TB contact investigation was feasible and useful. HIV testing was also widely accepted. Pairing QFT with opt-out HIV testing should be strongly considered when possible.
Southeastern United States