IGRA- WHAT IS IT??
IGRA stands for Interferon Gamma Release Assay.
It is a blood test used to identify if a person has been exposed to M.tuberculosis which is the agent causing tuberculosis.
It is also known as QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus)
The IGRA test measures the body’s immune response to the bacteria causing M.tuberculosis.
- This tests detects latent tuberculosis where in a patient lodges the tubercle bacilli in his body but his immune system does not allow the infection to cause symptoms or signs. There is a small risk that latent TB infection can progress to TB disease. The risk is increased in young children and old people, as well as people with weak immune systems.
Before doing an IGRA test please tell your nurse/doctor if you
- have any immune-suppressing illness such as HIV, lymphoma, or kidney disease
- take medication that affects your immune system including steroids, cyclosporine or chemotherapy
- have had a fever or infection in the past month, such as influenza, measles, or pneumonia
- have received any vaccines in the past month
- have had TB disease in the past.
A positive IGRA test suggests that the patient has been exposed to M.tuberculosis.However this test cannot differentiate between latent and active tuberculosis.Confirmation should be done by TB culture or TB PCR.We at Dane Diagnostics perform IGRA,TB culture as well as TB PCR.