- Tunisian Society of Nephrology first professional body in the field to publish nationwide guidance
- Association of specialists recommends national immune response monitoring for cytomegalovirus (CMV) after kidney transplant
- Professional vote of confidence in QuantiFERON-CMV, QuantiFERON Monitor and QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus
TUNIS, Tunisia, Sept. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — QIAGEN today announced that the comprehensive QuantiFERON immune response blood tests have been recommended for use by clinicians in Tunisia to help kidney disease, transplant and dialysis patients – the world’s first-ever guidance of this type by a professional body in kidney medicine.
To catch potentially deadly complications as early as possible, the Tunisian Society of Nephrology (TSN) advises specialist clinicians to use QuantiFERON-CMV to gauge the immune response of patients to cytomegalovirus (CMV), QuantiFERON Monitor to determine the strength of their immune systems more generally, and QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus to detect latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) before it becomes an active disease.
“The world’s first recommendation by kidney specialists is a vote of confidence in QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON immune-response tests,” said Simona Grandits, Senior Director, Head of Sales and Marketing EEMEA at QIAGEN . “Clinicians in Tunisia will find QuantiFERON-CMV an innovative patient management tool to complement PCR testing for CMV – and QuantiFERON Monitor and QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus invaluable for monitoring specific and wider immune responses. They will be able to tailor preventive treatment and reduce the use of potentially toxic and costly medications.”
With an incidence rate ranging from 8% to 32%1, CMV disease stands as the most prevalent infectious complication following kidney transplant procedures. The required immunosuppressive medications, essential for preventing organ rejection, weaken the patient’s immune system, making it more challenging to control viral infections. Post-transplant CMV poses the risk of causing severe complications such as direct harm to the transplanted organ, graft rejection or dysfunction, and heightened susceptibility to other infections.
CMV immune response monitoring enables healthcare providers to pinpoint patients with higher risks of developing complications, thereby allowing them to administer suitable treatments and mitigate the chances of full-blown CMV disease and transplant loss. As a result, the TSN advises QuantiFERON-CMV to be used for nationwide immune response monitoring the year after surgery. Patients testing positive with an adequate immune response to the virus should be released from prophylactic treatment after three months, while those testing negative, and more at risk to CMV disease, should be monitored for up to six months. This tailored approach not only enhances patient outcomes, but also contributes to cost savings within the healthcare system. Managing CMV disease can be financially burdensome, and proactive testing helps to alleviate this burden by providing targeted care for those at risk.
To help clinicians determine the right dosage of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent both organ rejection and post-transplant infections, the TSN recommends the use of QuantiFERON Monitor before and after surgery. Testing before a kidney transplant allows for corrective measures for patients found to have weak immune systems, while post-surgical testing would aid clinicians in adjusting the regime of immunosuppressive medication that is crucial after any transplant.
One in four people are thought to have latent TB infections, with 5-10% of them expected at some point to develop active TB, a contagious and potentially deadly disease that usually affects the lungs. People with immune-system impairments are at a significantly higher risk of developing active disease. The TSN, therefore, advises the use of QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus for tuberculosis screening in specific nephrological cases, including elderly patients with chronic renal failure, those with coexisting conditions like diabetes or malnutrition, and transplant candidates. Additionally, it’s recommended for patients undergoing hemodialysis and those about to start immunomodulatory treatment due to renal insufficiency. The World Health Organization (WHO) also strongly recommends TB infection screening for all immunocompromised patients including those receiving organ or hematological transplants and those on dialysis. QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus requires only one patient visit and is much more accurate for diagnosing latent TB in populations that are at the highest risk for infection than the century-old, two-visit Tuberculin skin test (TST).
QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON Technology is a unique in vitro diagnostic method for detecting cell-mediated immune responses from whole blood samples. It works by identifying specific T-cells in individuals with infectious agent exposure. When an infection-specific antigen is combined with the blood, rapid re-stimulation of antigen-specific T-cells occurs, leading to the secretion of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), which can be measured as a marker of an immune response.
Learn more about QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON range of assays at https://www.qiagen.com/de/
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands-based holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample to Insight solutions that enable customers to gain valuable molecular insights from samples containing the building blocks of life. Our sample technologies isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from blood, tissue and other materials. Assay technologies make these biomolecules visible and ready for analysis. Bioinformatics software and knowledge bases interpret data to report relevant, actionable insights. Automation solutions tie these together in seamless and cost-effective workflows. QIAGEN provides solutions to more than 500,000 customers around the world in Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare) and Life Sciences (academia, pharma R&D and industrial applications, primarily forensics). As of June 30, 2023, QIAGEN employed more than 6,100 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information can be found at http://www.qiagen.com.
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1 D M Simon, S Levin “Infectious complications of solid organ transplantations”, Infectious disease clinics of North America, 2001 Jun;15(2):521-49: https://doi.org/10.1016/s0891-
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