National Reference Center for Tuberculosis
Our National Reference Center for Tuberculosis is located in our Public Health Business Area.
The goal of any tuberculosis diagnostic is cultural detection of the pathogen. Only through this is detection of the resistance pattern and outbreak clarification possible. Due to the danger potential of the mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, a laboratory with safety level 3 (BSL-3) is necessary for this purpose, which we have at our National Reference Center for Tuberculosis. Because of the slow growth of the pathogen, samples must be incubated for up to 8 weeks. However, molecular biological techniques such as the polymerase chain reaction (=PCR) can shorten the diagnosis time and also provide information about the resistance behavior of the pathogen.
Latent tuberculosis infections can be diagnosed either with the Mendel-Mantoux skin test, which has been in use for decades, or with the new blood tests, the interferon gamma release assays (IGRA). In contrast to the skin test, the blood tests show no influence of BCG vaccination.
QuantiFERON TB Gold Plus (IGRA).
Since March 2016, we have been using the QuantiFERON-TB-Gold-Plus®. This test requires 4 collection tubes (gray, green, yellow and purple).
All 4 collection tubes must be filled to the black mark (1ml each) and then swirled 10x. The tubes must be incubated at 37°C as soon as possible, but in any case within 16 hours. Prior to incubation, the tubes should be stored at room temperature and should NOT be refrigerated. Further information on collection, preanalytics, analytics and interpretation can be found on the manufacturer's homepage and under: technical information on the tuberculosis test procedure.
Last updated: 26.06.2023