TB test for college, female student packing stuff in front of the locker, QFT
icon-tb-management
TB Management

Student Health

Close to 1 million international students are enrolled in colleges and universities across the U.S., making it the most popular host destination for foreign students (1). According to the CDC, 72% of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the U.S. in 2020 were attributed to non-U.S.-born individuals, and these individuals carried a 15x increased risk of developing active TB (2).

With foreign-born students representing approximately 5% of the total U.S. student population and campuses being highly crowded places with the potential for close contact, the risks of TB are amplified. Therefore, it is essential that foreign students from high TB risk countries are screened and tested for TB infection. Through screening and targeted testing, early detection and treatment of TB in affected individuals is possible, while preventing potential spread to others.

Unfortunately, many colleges and universities do not have a TB testing policy or a TB test for college in place for incoming or international students, and those that do still rely on older, more subjective and less efficient tests to detect the infection. Let’s see how you can make sure your students and faculty are safe from TB.

According to current guidelines from the American College Health Association (ACHA), all incoming students should be screened for TB risk factors via a screening questionnaire, and those with an identifiable risk factor should be tested for TB infection (3).

For example, most U.S.-born incoming students, while they will need to be screened, will not need TB testing as they will not have risk factors for TB. However, international students arriving from countries with an increased incidence of TB should be tested because this subpopulation will have a higher incidence of TB infection and an increased risk for developing active TB disease.

Group of students, outdoors, QFT
QFT-Plus, QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus, blood draw

ACHA states that in most situations relevant to college health, the preferred method for testing for TB infection is a TB blood test (IGRA) rather than a tuberculin skin test (TST) (3).

Utilizing an IGRA – such as QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) – on your campus is a simple solution for busy students and staff, providing accurate results with one visit and fewer false positives than the skin test. IGRAs are also cost-effective and covered by insurance providers, allowing for easy implementation at your college or university.

Make sure your campus is using the preferred TB test for college
Protect your campus with QFT-Plus, a simple, accurate TB blood test.
References: 
  1. Statista. Top host destination of international students worldwide in 2020, by number of students (2020). https://www.statista.com/statistics/297132/top-host-destination-of-international-students-worldwide/ (accessed June 7, 2022)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data and Statistics (2022). https://www.cdc.gov/tb/statistics/default.htm (accessed June 7, 2022)
  3. American College Health Association. Tuberculosis Screening and Targeted Testing of College and University Students (2020). https://www.acha.org/documents/resources/guidelines/ACHA_Tuberculosis_Screening_May2020.pdf (accessed June 7, 2022)

QFT-Plus is an in vitro diagnostic aid for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. QFT-Plus is an indirect test for M. tuberculosis infection (including disease) and is intended for use in conjunction with risk assessment, radiography, and other medical and diagnostic evaluations. QFT-Plus Package Inserts, available in multiple languages, as well as up-to-date licensing information and product-specific disclaimers can be found at www.QuantiFERON.com.