QIAGEN N.V. today announced that QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT), the modern standard for accuracy in diagnosing latent tuberculosis (TB) infection, has been selected by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces for the screening of more than 340,000 recruits during 2017.
Korea has one of the highest active TB incidence rates among industrialized countries, with more than 32,000 new cases and 2,300 deaths per year. The government has adopted a strategy to eliminate the disease, including preventive screening of at-risk groups and treatment of individuals with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI), in line with recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Furthermore, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2016 selected QuantiFERON-TB for nationwide contact screening of people at risk of infection through close contact with active TB patients.
“We are pleased to support the efforts in Korea to take a comprehensive, best-practice approach to TB control, and are collaborating with authorities, distributors and laboratories to implement a program for latent TB screening using QuantiFERON-TB as the modern test of choice,” said Dr. Masae Kawamura, Senior Director, TB Medical and Scientific Affairs, at QIAGEN. QuantiFERON-TB is the standard test used by national laboratories in Korea and won this competitive tender for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces based on its proven workflow and cost effectiveness.”
Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection spread primarily through the air. Patients with the active pulmonary form of the disease can spread it through coughing. In 2015, WHO estimates, there were 10.4 million new cases of active TB worldwide and 1.8 million deaths from TB. In latent TB infection, the bacterium infects a person but who does not develop symptoms unless it progresses to the active disease. On a global basis, approximately one-third of people are estimated to have LTBI, and about 5-10% of those individuals, if untreated, will progress to active tuberculosis at some point. Screening of high-risk individuals and treatment for LTBI play an important role in tuberculosis control efforts in a growing number of countries.
QIAGEN partners with governments and health organizations around the world to fight tuberculosis and continues to develop innovative new technologies. QuantiFERON-TB Gold is the modern standard for diagnosing latent TB infection – faster, less labor-intensive and more accurate than the century-old tuberculin skin test. QFT’s clinical reliability and simpler administration enhance the accuracy of screening and improve the cost-effectiveness of TB control. In 2015 QIAGEN launched QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) in Europe and other markets as a fourth-generation test with CE-IVD marking. More than 30 million tests using QuantiFERON-TB technology have been distributed globally. To learn more about QFT and QFT-Plus, please visit http://wwwQuantiFERON.com.