Screening for Latent Tuberculosis Infection in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients to Predict Active Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Diagnostic Studies

Dafna Yahav, Melissa R. Gitman, Ili Margalit, Tomer Avni, Mariska M. G. Leeflang, Shahid Husain

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Background: This is a systematic review and meta-Analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies to assess the predictive value of both tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA) for active tuberculosis (TB) among solid organ transplantation (SOT) recipients. Methods: Medline, Embase, and the CENTRAL databases were searched from 1946 until June 30, 2022. Two independent assessors extracted data from studies. Sensitivity analyses were performed to investigate the effect of studies with high or low risk of bias. Methodological quality of each publication was assessed using QUADAS-2. Results: A total of 43 studies (36 403 patients) with patients who were screened for latent TB infection (LTBI) and who underwent SOT were included: 18 were comparative and 25 noncomparative (19 TST, 6 QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube [QFT-GIT]). For IGRA tests taken together, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were 1.2% and 99.6%, respectively. For TST, PPV was 2.13% and NPV was 95.5%. Overall, PPV is higher when TB burden is higher, regardless of test type, although still low in absolute terms. Incidence of active TB was similar between studies using LTBI prophylaxis (mean incidence 1.22%; 95% confidence interval [CI],. 2179-2.221) and those not using prophylaxis (mean incidence 1.045%; 95% CI, 0.2731-1.817; P =. 7717). Strengths of this study include the large number of studies available from multiple different countries; limitations include absence of gold standard for diagnosis of latent TB and low incidence of active TB. Conclusions: We found both TST and IGRA had a low PPV and high NPV for the development of active TB posttransplant. Further studies are needed to better understand how to prevent active TB in the SOT population.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberofad324
JournalOpen forum infectious diseases
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • IGRA
  • LTBI
  • SOT
  • TST

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