A TB test determines whether you are tuberculosis positive. Both screening and confirmatory tests are typically part of these tests. These tests can reveal not only the bacterial contact but also the severity of the infection. As a result, this article highlights TB screening while summarising the key components of tuberculosis tests.
How does a TB screening work?
A TB screening test determines whether you are infected with the germs that cause TB. A bacterial infection called tuberculosis primarily affects the lungs. However, it can also have an impact on the kidneys, spine, and brain, among other body parts. When a person with TB coughs or sneezes, TB can spread from one person to another. If you need further testing or have TB germs in your body, the screening can reveal that. However, screening does not indicate whether you are suffering from an active or latent disease.
What happens during a TB screening examination?
A TB screening test is available at hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centres. Both the TB skin test and the TB blood test require no special preparation on your part. Depending on your health and medical history, either a TB skin test or a TB blood test will be required. Although TB skin tests are used more frequently, TB blood tests are also becoming more popular.
- Skin test for tuberculosis: The Mantoux tuberculin skin test, also referred to as a TB skin test, is the most widely used technique by physicians to diagnose tuberculosis. A tiny amount of fluid known as tuberculin will be injected just beneath the skin of your forearm. It contains a small quantity of inert TB protein. You should experience a tiny prick from the needle. A medical professional will examine you when you see your doctor again in two or three days to see if you’ve encountered any reactions.
- A blood test for tuberculosis or an IGRA test: Your blood will be drawn using a tiny needle by a medical professional from a vein in your arm. Once drawn, a small amount of blood will be collected in a test tube or vial. It is possible that the needle will cause some minor discomfort as it enters or exits your body. In most cases, this takes only a short while.
What are the risks of TB screening tests?
A skin or blood test for TB carries very little risk. You might experience a pinch when the fluid is injected beneath your skin for a TB skin test. For a blood test, you might experience a little discomfort or bruising where the needle was inserted, but the majority of side effects disappear quickly.
What testing is conducted if the TB screening is positive?
If the results of your skin or blood TB test are positive, your doctor might suggest getting a chest X-ray. Your lungs will be examined for any TB-related changes or lesions. Your doctor will take a sample of your cough mucus and examine it for TB bacteria. This is usually done by culture or a sputum smear test.
Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.