What is QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus?

QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) is a simple blood test that aids in the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria which causes tuberculosis (TB).

You can improve your TB testing by switching to from the TB skin test (Tuberculin Skin Test, also known as the Mantoux or PPD test) to QFT-Plus (1):

  • Higher sensitivity at >95%
  • Highest specificity of any test for TB infection
  • Innovative CD8+ T cell technology

Why choose QFT-Plus?

QFT-Plus is an improved version of the industry-leading IGRA for TB detection, QuantiFERON-TB Gold. QFT-Plus uses the same principle, test procedures, and reliable technology that you trust, but is now optimized with innovative tuberculosis-specific antigens that elicit both CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses – enabling a more accurate assessment of cell-mediated immune response to TB infection (2).

Unlike the TB skin test, QFT-Plus is not affected by the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination (1, 3, 4).

Table 1. QFT-Plus offers clear benefits over the tuberculin skin test (TST)

  QFT-Plus (1, 3) TST (3, 5)
Single visit assay?YesRequires only one patient visitNoRequires two patient visits
High sensitivity?Yes95% sensitivity – accurately identify TB-infected patientsNo70% sensitivity – more missed diagnoses
High specificity?
Yes98% specificity – less unnecessary follow-up and treatmentNoVariable; 59% in BCG-vaccinated populations – false positives result in unnecessary and costly follow-up
Objective results?YesObjective and controlled laboratory assayNoSubjective measurement of skin induration
Effective in BCG-vaccinated patients?YesUnaffected by BCG vaccinationNoResults affected by BCG vaccination
Most cost effective?
YesMore cost effective than TST in multiple screening situationsNoHigh program costs due to second visits and false positives

Advancing the science of TB testing with innovative CD8+ T cell technology

CD8+ T cells have been shown to play an important role in Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunity (9–11). QFT-Plus now measures the cell-mediated immune response to tuberculosis infection from both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. The new TB1 tube primarily detects CD4+ responses, while TB2 is optimized for both CD4+ and CD8+ responses.

The most tested and trusted IGRA available

QuantiFERON technology has been the subject of over 1100 clinical and scientific studies, and maintains the highest accuracy of any test for TB infection. QFT-Plus provides the convenience of a single patient visit with electronic reporting, quantitative results and unparalleled accuracy.


(1) QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) ELISA Package Insert Rev. 04. February 2016
(2) World Health Organization. (2015) Global tuberculosis report 2015. www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/
(3) Diel, R., Loddenkemper, R., and Nienhaus, A. (2010) Chest 137, 952.
(4) Harada, N. et al. (2008) J. Infect. 56, 348.
(5) Tuberculin Purified Protein Derivative (Mantoux) TUBERSOL® Package insert. Sanofi Pasteur Limited. February 2013. R8-2013.
(6) Pai, M., Zwerling, A., and Menzies, D. (2008) Ann. Intern. Med. 149, 177–184.
(7) Pareek, M. et al. (2013) Thorax 68, 230.
(8) Nienhaus A, et al. (2007) Arch. Occup. Environ. Health. 81, 295–300.
(9) Turner, J. et al. (1996) Immunology 87, 339
(10) Brookes, R.H. et al. (2003) Eur. J. Immunol. 33, 3293.
(11) Stenger, S. et al. (1998) Science 282, 121.

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