Objectives: Intense migration to the United Arab Emirates from tuberculosis (TB) high-endemic areas presents a particular risk to the population. Screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) usually involves risk assessment, the tuberculin skin test (TST), and interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). This study investigated the use of an IGRA to screen for LTBI and compared its performance with a risk assessment questionnaire. Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was conducted at seven Ambulatory Healthcare Services facilities in Abu Dhabi. Participants (88% Emiratis) were pediatric patients presenting for routine care. The QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test was performed and the parents completed a questionnaire assessing TB risk factors. Results: Six-hundred and ninety-nine subjects (median age 8.7 years, interquartile range 9.2 years) were enrolled; 669 (96%) agreed to testing. Four patients had a positive IGRA; one had previously been treated for TB, resulting in three patients with LTBI. The estimated LTBI prevalence was 0.45% (95% confidence interval 0.09-1.3). A household contact from a TB high-endemic area was reported in 44%, travel to a TB high-endemic area in 10%, and contact with someone with a chronic cough in 7%, a TB case in 3%, a TST-positive case in 2%, and an IGRA-positive case in 2%. Fifty percent of participants had at least one risk factor. The risk assessment did not predict a positive IGRA. Conclusions: The questionnaire yielded a risk of TB exposure of 50%, however the LTBI prevalence, as defined by the IGRA, was low (0.45%).
- Interferon-gamma release assay
- Pediatric latent tuberculosis infection
- TB risk assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases