Samples of heparinized peripheral blood were collected and were analyzed using T-SPOT assay (Oxford Immunotec, Oxford, UK) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. There are four indicators in the results of T-SPOT assay: negative control spot-forming cells (SFC), early secreted antigenic target 6 (ESAT-6) SFC, culture filtrate protein 10 (CFP-10) SFC, and positive control SFC. The larger of ESAT-6 SFC and CFP-10 SFC was defined as TB-specific antigens (TBAg) SFC.

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