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The test measures levels of tuberculosis antigens in serum and could be useful in a number of patient populations where existing tests are ineffective.
The IGRA testing market is ballooning as industrialized nations try to curb the spread of tuberculosis, but the assays still fall short in certain settings and patient populations.
The test from Qiagen was able to identify young children with high interferon-gamma levels who later developed active disease.
In 2016, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention selected the assay to screen individuals at risk of infection through close contact with active TB patients.
The QuantiFeron-TB Gold Plus uses immunoassay technology to detect the release of interferon-gamma as a proxy for latent tuberculosis infection.
The research team evaluated the Illumina MiSeq and Ion PGM sequencing platforms, as well as the bioinformatics pipelines TBProfiler and Mykrobe predictor.
The evidence-based guidelines for testing individuals at risk of latent or active TB infection include recommendations on interferon-gamma release and molecular assays.
The company has identified markers of latent disease that it is now investigating to see if they could be useful for predicting progression to active infection.
The funding will be used to further develop a 20-minute tuberculosis detection assay and drug susceptibility test using the firm's handheld Q-POC microfluidic PCR system.
Cepheid noted that the cartridge is not currently part of its five-year commercial plan, but the firm is in discussions with outside parties to push development forward.