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WHO operational handbook on tuberculosis: Module 3: Diagnosis - Tests for tuberculosis infection

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Overview

The "WHO operational handbook on tuberculosis. Module 3: Diagnosis - Tests for tuberculosis infection", is a new operational handbook on tests for TB infection. Three classes of tests are now recommended in the latest consolidated guidelines on tests for tuberculosis infection. It includes for the first-time a new class of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen-based skin tests (TBSTs), and the two existing classes of tests: the tuberculin skin test (TST) and the interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs).

IGRAs and TBSTs use Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex specific antigens and represent a significant advancement to TST which has been used for over half a century.

The operational handbook provides laboratory personnel, clinicians as well as ministries of health and technical partners detailed guidance on how to implement the WHO evidence-based recommendations on TB infection tests. The document describes the WHO recommended tests, test procedures, a model algorithm, and the steps required to scale-up TB infection testing within a health programme.