Tuberculin Skin Test Outdated or Still Useful
Objective: To make an informed viewpoint on the usefulness of Tuberculin Skin test (TST) compared to Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs) for diagnosis of Latent TB Infection (LTBI) in different geographical settings. Methods: We reviewed the current literature on TST compared to IGRA, including national implementation of WHO LTBI recommendations and retrospective data over the past 7 years at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “L. Spallanzani” as indirect indicator of usage of both tests under actual programmatic conditions. Results: Current national guidelines vary considerably, reﬂecting the uncertainty and rapidly evolving evidence about the potential use of these tests. Data from Institute “L. Spallanzani” showed IGRA concordance in TST positive subjects only in 54.74% of subjects, while there was strong concordance between two tests in TST negative subjects (93.78%). Conclusion: Neither IGRAs nor TST can distinguish active TB from LTBI.
Latent TB Infection (LTBI) – Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis and the dynamics of the granuloma battleground
Latent Tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is established in over 90% of persons infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), from whom new active TB cases will arise. Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of host immune responses in LTBI granulomas is essential to designing effective post-exposure therapies that inhibit progression to TB. Information arising from cancer studies and other modalities – where local chronic inﬂammation leads to immunopathology – can help provide insights into the biological pathways at play in LTBI granulomas. Translational studies using patient material as well as LTBI+ donor-derived tissue samples are instrumental in understanding the various components of granuloma dynamics, immunological landscapes therein and how this could help to identify therapeutic targets. Deep sequencing technologies may aid to decipher the genetic changes in lung granuloma and blood samples from LTBI+ individuals associated with progression to active TB disease.