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Qiagen Latent TB Test Selected by Korean Military to Screen Recruits

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Qiagen said after the close of the market Thursday that its QuantiFeron-TB Gold test for latent tuberculosis has been selected by the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Armed Forces to screen more than 340,000 recruits in 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 TB in line with recommendations from the World Health Organization.

The Korean military tender follows on the heels of another win in the country for Qiagen in 2016, when the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention selected QuantiFeron-TB Gold to screen individuals 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," Masae Kawamura, senior director of TB medical and scientific affairs at Qiagen, said in a statement. "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."

Qiagen also markets a next-generation version of its test called QuantiFeron-TB Gold Plus that adds CD8 antigens and workflow improvements that allow for more efficient implementation, according to the company. This next-gen version has CE marking and is cleared for use in several countries around the world, but not in the US, where earlier this month Qiagen submitted a premarket approval application to the US Food and Drug Administration.