The MIT D-lab electricity-free PortaTherm(TM) incubator for remote testing with the QuantiFERON (R)-TB Gold In-Tube assay


Dominguez, M; Smith, A; Luna, G; Brady, MF; Austin-Breneman, J; Lopez, S; Yataco, R; Moore, DAJ; (2010) The MIT D-lab electricity-free PortaTherm(TM) incubator for remote testing with the QuantiFERON (R)-TB Gold In-Tube assay. The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease, 14 (11). pp. 1468-1474. ISSN 1027-3719

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Use of the QuantiFERON (R)-TB Gold In-Tube assay (QFT-GIT) in remote areas is limited by the need to incubate blood samples within 12 h of collection. PortaTherm(TM) is a portable, electricity-free, phasechange incubator previously used for field collection of microbiological samples. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the Porta Therm can be used for the reliable incubation of QFT-GIT samples, thus enabling QFT-GIT use in settings distant from laboratory facilities. METHODS: In a prospective comparative study in Peru, blood samples were collected from 50 participants and processed in three parallel QFT-GIT tests per participant; two were incubated in a conventional incubator; the third was incubated in the Porta Therm. RESULTS: All 150 QFT-GIT tests gave definitive results, and for 46 of the 50 participants all three tests were concordant, eight of which were positive. Four participants had one discordant result: two due to discordance of a conventional incubator QFT-GIT result, and two due to discordant PortaTherm QFT-GIT results. CONCLUSION: The QFT-GIT inter-incubator variability between the PortaTherm and conventional incubator was no greater than the intra-incubator variability for the conventional incubator, indicating that the PortaTherm is a suitable tool for incubating QFT-GIT whole blood samples in remote settings where access to a laboratory or electricity is limited.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: incubator, PortaTherm, QuantiFERON (R)-TB Gold In-Tube, tuberculosis, inter-assay variability, LATENT TUBERCULOSIS INFECTION, GAMMA RELEASE ASSAY, REPRODUCIBILITY, DIAGNOSIS
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: TB Centre
PubMed ID: 20937189
Web of Science ID: 283830500018
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2068

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