The aim of this study is to determine the preferences and perspectives regarding the Quantiferon TB Gold test for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) in India. A survey was distributed among 46 uveitis specialists, rheumatologists, and pulmonologists with a minimum of 2 years experience in the management of tuberculosis, in order to restrict the respondents to specialists who have used this test in their practice in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Topics included demographics, usage, logistics, effectiveness, and preferences related to the Quantiferon TB Gold test.
Among the 37 responders, there were 19 uveitis specialists, 9 rheumatologists, and 9 pulmonologists with the majority having more than 7 years of experience in treating tuberculosis. Latent TB was the most common type of tuberculosis reported by 81% of the responders. Although 92% agree that Quantiferon TB Gold assay is used for the diagnosis of latent TB, only 32% use this test always in their practice. Limiting factors include the higher cost (35.14%), limited data from countries endemic for TB and hence limited interpretation of results (32.43%), the inability to differentiate active and latent TB (32.43%), and technical issues related to the test (18.92%). A combination of the Mantoux test and Quantiferon TB Gold test was the preferred test for investigation in 51% of the responders rather than solo tests.
Within this group of specialists dealing with different forms of tuberculosis, perspectives of this test and preferences are many. The increased cost and limited data from India with respect to interpretation of the results are the most common limiting factors in using this test.