As interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) testing has been introduced in the United States over the past decade and a half, we have seen significant increases in the number of providers and patients making choices to use this technology. CDC has published two sets of guidelines related to IGRAs (2005 and revised in 2009). Both of these guidelines do a very good job of assessing the body of literature and research available at the time and focus primarily on the test selection process and basic interpretation of the results. However, these guidelines leave many questions unanswered for providers on a daily basis, due in large part to lack of completed research and the lack of practical post-market introduction experience.
In our roles as TB Controllers and TB program staff across the nation, we are often called upon by public and private providers to assist in interpreting or assessing results of IGRA tests. This is particularly when the case when discordant and/or unexpected results are presented to providers. Many of us have been faced with these same decisions to be made in our own daily practices.
As the research continues to evolve, it will take additional time and resources to have fully evidence-based guidelines to answer many of the questions we receive daily. The challenge is that in real-world practical situations, we need to make these decisions now.
The NTCA IGRA Workgroup will develop tools for use as best practice statements representing the consensus experience (evidence-based when available) of United States TB Control Programs for the practical daily use of IGRA technology.
These tools are designed to
- Assist TB Controllers and others who are called upon to provide technical assistance and guidance to a wide array of providers and assay users throughout the public and private sectors.
- Provide for best practice options when trouble shooting questions and problems which may arise in the growing use of the IGRA products.
- Extend beyond the current published CDC guidelines for use and quantitative interpretation of IGRA to address topics and questions which frequently arise but are not addressed.
Workgroup Chairperson: Phil Griffin
Regular Meeting Date/Time: 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 2:00 Eastern/1:00 Central/12:00 Mountain/11:00 Pacific
Meetings are 90 minutes long.
Contact for More Information: Donna Wegener, NTCA Executive Director