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Thursday, September 10 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Want to step up to IGRA testing? The Why & How of IGRA testing in your facility.

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Topic Overview: The goal of this presentation is to educate occupational health professionals on the various tuberculosis (TB) tests available, and the operational and financial considerations for switching from one TB testing method to another. Specifically, the program will include an educational review of the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) and Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs,) including what they are, how they work and how they are used to screen for latent tuberculosis infection.

The presenters will discuss TB prevalence in the United States now and in the past, and they will introduce current diagnostic and treatment options for latent TB infection, focusing on the newer, blood-based IGRAs, some procedural considerations for screening programs and the importance of perspective and quantitative result interpretation. Current CDC screening recommendations and guidelines will be reviewed. Examples of screening programs in hospital, public health and Veterans Health Administration settings will be discussed, particularly in comparison with the previous standard of TST use. A toolkit with samples of policies and procedures will be shared.

The program will conclude with information about how participants can complete a financial assessment of the total cost of switching from one TB testing method to another at their institutions, with suggestions on how to present that information to other administrators and medical staff involved in the decision-making process.


  1. Describe the scientific and technical differences for the three tuberculosis screening tests available.
  2. Identify advantages and disadvantages of different tuberculosis testing methods in various clinical settings.
  3. Review the epidemiology of tuberculosis infection in the United States and worldwide.
  4. Explain the comparison of interferon-gamma release assays to the tuberculin skin test.
  5. Name interferon-gamma release assays, and their advantages and disadvantages.
  6. Review the CDC 2010 “Updated Guidelines for Using Interferon-Gamma Release Assays to Detect M. tuberculosis Infection.”
  7. Discuss practical considerations when running a tuberculosis screening program.
  8. Describe result interpretation and treatment options.

avatar for Sarah Foster-Chang, DNP, APRN-BC, COHN-S

Sarah Foster-Chang, DNP, APRN-BC, COHN-S

Nurse Consultant- National VA Occupational Health Washington, D. C.
Dr. Foster-Chang holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology (Stanford University,) a BSN (University of California, San Francisco,) an MSN in Primary Care (University of Pennsylvania) and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (Thomas Jefferson University.) She has been invited to present... Read More →
avatar for Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH

Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH

Scott Lindquist completed his medical training at the University of Washington School of Medicine as a student of the WAMI (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) program. He completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an Infectious Disease... Read More →
avatar for Wendy Thanassi MA, MD, MRO

Wendy Thanassi MA, MD, MRO

Wendy Thanassi is a co-author of the 2019 MMWR guidance for TB testing in healthcare providers and lead author of the collaborative Companion Document. She served as the lead subject matter expert for TB testing of healthcare workers and on the VHA National Advisory Board for Occupational... Read More →

Thursday September 10, 2015 4:00pm - 5:30pm PDT
Grand Ballroom/Street Level

Attendees (1)