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Doctor insights on: Tb Tests

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Why do we do TB tests, and not just vaccinate against tb?

Why do we do TB tests, and not just vaccinate against tb?

Imperfect vaccines: At the present time, we don't have a very effective vaccine against tuberculosis. Bcg vaccine is used in some countries and provides some protection during childhood, but the protection wanes with time. For that reason, it is less likely to be used in countries like the U.S., where TB is far less common. ...Read more

Dr. Scott Lindquist
615 Doctors shared insights

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Infection (Definition)

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an infectious organism that spreads by droplets coughed out by an infected person. Infection is established initially in lungs, but can spread within lungs & to other body parts, or can become latent, with reactivation occurring years to decades later. With effective treatment, it can be completely eliminated although drug resistant ...Read more


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What will happen if you take 2 TB tests in the same month?

What will happen if you take 2 TB tests in the same month?

Nothing bad: It's not harmful. In fact, it can sometimes increase the sensitivity of the second test (the "booster effect"). ...Read more

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Can you let me know how many TB tests is considered excessive?

Depends on exposure: If you live in us and do not travel frequently to areas where TB is common and you are not a health care worker and you have a normal immune system and you are not expected to receive any medication that will affect your immune system than there should not be the need to even test it; on the other hand if you fall under one of the other categories I would test q 5 y (by quantiferon if bcg +). ...Read more

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Can PPD TB tests have thimerosal in them?

Can PPD TB tests have thimerosal in them?

PPD TEST/THIOMERSAL: No there is no thiomersal in it, and we only inject 0.1 cc of the PPD liquid in the skin. ...Read more

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Does Marijuana use affect tb tests?

Does Marijuana use affect tb tests?

No: No cross reactivity if using the tuberculin skin test has been reported. Though some people may have hypersensitivity to the tubersol causing immediate reaction rather than the expected t cell mediated reaction. ...Read more

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Just had 2 TB tests, both very hard to tell if + or -. The spots are red & swollen 1 <10mm, other >10mm. So? (20yr, male, worked at nursing home)

Just had 2 TB tests, both very hard to tell if + or -. The spots are red & swollen 1 <10mm, other >10mm. So? (20yr, male, worked at nursing home)

See your physician: Tb test on your arm should be read only after a specific period of time and not before. Reading should be performed only after and not before. See your health professional for correct analysis of raised areas. ...Read more

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Had a heavy cough w/ bloody musuc over 1 yr now. Gets worse when on my back. Had CT Xray & TB tests done. No results. NOT bronchitis.?

Had a heavy cough w/ bloody musuc over 1 yr now. Gets worse when on my back. Had CT Xray & TB tests done. No results. NOT bronchitis.?

Bronchitis, maybe: The stuff you cough up is of concern. Bloody mucous may be a sign of pneumonia, as well as other things such as cancer etc. It is best you get the results of those tests and begin your treatment as soon as possible. Best talk to your doctor ...Read more

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Dad was diagnosed with pulmonary TB. Tests rule out malignancy. Scans, MRI&fluid were checked. Fluid drained & med started. But in a week fluid again. Help?

Dad was diagnosed with pulmonary TB. Tests rule out malignancy. Scans, MRI&fluid were checked. Fluid drained & med started. But in a week fluid again. Help?

Will resolve: **TB pleural effusion resolves with or without drainage within 6 to 16 weeks after starting medication for TB. This suggests that although the fluid reoccured it will respond to TB medication given time. Corticosteroids can be given to speed up resolution in specific patients but not routinely recommended at this time because the precise risks and benefits are unknown. **UpToDate ...Read more

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I volunteer in hospitals with a therapy dog ihave annual TB tests and a flu shot but was wondering whether to get hep a and b?

I volunteer in hospitals with a therapy dog ihave annual TB tests and a flu shot but was wondering whether to get hep a and b?

You are likely not: At risk. Hav is not really a risk at all in the hospital since the virus is mostly gone from the stool by the time you are ill. Hbv spreads by blood contact, not likely given what you are doing. ...Read more

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Getting over fear of needles? Ok with typical shots and immunizations but cannot get TB tests or blood work done. I also have vegus nerve and I faint

Getting over fear of needles? Ok with typical shots and immunizations but cannot get TB tests or blood work done. I also have vegus nerve and I faint

CBT: Seek a cognitive-behavioral therapist who specializes in phobias. One method they use is systematic desensitization which slowly and incrementally brings the person closer and closer to the thing they are afraid of in slow, graduated steps that help make the anxiety more tolerable. ...Read more

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I am hving persistent cough problem since years. Although CT scans, blood tests, TB tests showed no signs of anything...What should I do?

I am hving persistent cough problem since years. Although CT scans, blood tests, TB tests showed no signs of anything...What should I do?

Thoughts: It sounds like you've had a pretty significant pulmonary workup, but i'd ask you doctor if this could be something gastrointestinal - like chronic reflux or eosinophil esophagitis. A consult with a gastroenterologist could be helpful. I'd also ask to get the input of an ENT doctor. Best of luck! ...Read more

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Is it safe to have numerous TB skin tests? I've had 6 in the last 6 months?

Is it safe to have numerous TB skin tests? I've had 6 in the last 6 months?

Tb testing: Why would you have 6 TB tests in 6 months? Unless you were exposed or you had equivocal results each time or your doctor could not read the test results within the 48-72 hours if it was a skin test, it is unclear why you should have so many tests in 6months. Talk to your doctor. ...Read more

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What tests should my husband get for tb? I recently read the who article about the inaccuracy of the TB blood tests. If there are such misleading results, what kind of test are people who may have TB suppose to get? My husband was vaccinated in portugal

It is getting better: The tuberculin skin test is usually, but not always, positive after bcg vaccinations.

The blood testing, such as quantiferon gold, are usually not positive after vaccination. The blood tests are getting better also. Blood testing is recommended by the nyc doh bureau of tuberculosis control.

By the way, there are still some surviving TB expert docs out there. Use them. ...Read more

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Do TB skin tests leave scars for lifetime or they disappear aftr some time? Do they disappear only for negative cases or disappr in positive cases too

Usually TB tests: Do not leave scars however a rare highly positive test can lead to minor skin damage and a "reminder" (scar) never to have another TB test again!!!
(The first "positive" especially the "severe" ones should result in TREATMENT with anti-TB medication (INH)

Hope this helps!
Dr Z ...Read more

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2 TB skin tests. Bumps measured 15cm. RN stated I possibly have LTBI & ordered QuantiFERON Gold in-tube test. Could anything cause a false positive?

2 TB skin tests. Bumps measured 15cm. RN stated I possibly have LTBI & ordered QuantiFERON Gold in-tube test. Could anything cause a false positive?

Not at 15cm, but...: The bump is more likely 15mm, because 15cm is 6 inches and HUGE. A 15mm bump on a screening test is big but may still be a false positive (a screening test means the patient has NO symptoms of tuberculosis). If a patient has contacted somebody with TB, or has current symptoms, she likely has a true positive unless her bump is due to past BCG vaccine. The Quantiferon-TB blood test is very accurate. ...Read more

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If I'm symptomatic for disseminated TB, have a positive blood test for TB, negative sputum tests, should I be tested further?

If I'm symptomatic for disseminated TB, have a positive blood test for TB, negative sputum tests, should I be tested further?

Probably not...: I'm not sure what you mean by "symptomatic for disseminated TB". The symptoms of this are the same as for a hundred other medical conditions, infectious and otherwise. If you're not deathly ill, almost certainly you don't have it. A positive blood test doesn't mean much. Discuss with your doctor -- or if you and s/he remain uncertain, ask for consultation by an infectious diseases specialist. ...Read more

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What are the tests for TB infection?

Several: The most conclusive is a culture of sputum that grows tb. A biopsy can show TB when examined under the microscope. Indirect tests include chest x ray, skin test ppd, and special blood test quantiferon. ...Read more

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I have this cough for 10 months now, medical tests including TB test are all negative. Antibiotics didn't help either. Please what could be wrong?

I have this cough for 10 months now, medical tests including TB test are all negative. Antibiotics didn't help either. Please what could be wrong?

Persistent cough?: You have had a persistent cough for ten months. If you are living with other human beings who do not have a similar cough you can be pretty confident that you don't have a very contagious condition. Think about cough secondary to post nasal drip, asthma, reflux. You should go see a pulmonary disease doctor. He will help you find out what's going on. Good luck. ...Read more

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I had a blood test for TB pos. Result, sputum tests, neg. Still waiting for others to come back, should I take the cocktail meds? I think not.

I had a blood test for TB pos. Result, sputum tests, neg. Still waiting for others to come back, should I take the cocktail meds? I think not.

Depends: If you have any symptoms suggesting tb, or anything on your x-ray, then do it. The new blood tests aren't for distinguishing active infection from past exposure. Unfortunately, politicians have gotten involved and may force you to take medication despite your already having contained TB bugs years ago. I've had a few colleagues force to do it. It's dumb but you may not have a choice. Good luck. ...Read more

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What tests (beside TB test) and vaccinations are needed before starting first time remicade (infliximab) fusion for left-sided ulcerative colitis? Mmr vaccine?

What tests (beside TB test) and vaccinations are needed before starting first time remicade (infliximab) fusion for left-sided ulcerative colitis? Mmr vaccine?

Check hepatitis B: The risk of reactivation of tuberculosis and hepatitis b when taking Remicade (infliximab) obligates pre-treatment testing. Live vaccines can not be accepted while on the drug. Your doctor will no doubt be candid when discussing all the risks of "biologic treatment"--please discuss these with him before initiating this very efficacious and generally well-tolerated drug class. ...Read more

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I tested positive and have symptoms of to TB to test positive?

Treatment: If you have a positive TB test and symptoms, a course of treatment will be advised by your physician and/or health department. TB is a very common infection globally and may be effectively treated. ...Read more

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Can a person always test positive, if they have had TB in the past.

Family practice: Yes you would test positive once you have had it. Make sure you were treated for it then follow up with chest x-rays if needed. ...Read more

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Will always test positive to TB if u have had before. But it has been cured?

See below: If you have had TB and your immune sustem is normal your TB skin test and gamma interferon release tests will remain positive for a prolonged time. With immunosuppression or in the very elderly anergy can occur and these tests can give a false negative result. ...Read more

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I'm just wondering, if you test positive for TB does that automatically mean you have it?

Exposure not disease: A positive TB test indicates past exposure to the bug that causes tb. Whether you have active TB disease or not depends on whether you are symptomatic or have signs of TB disease on chest xray or other appropriate tests based on your symptoms. Those that only have a positive TB test but none of the above have latent tb. Talk to your doctor who can do additional tests to figure out if you have tb. ...Read more

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How is TB diagnosed? And how do I know if I would have it? What tests are needed to rule it out?

TB diagnosis: The main two tests used now are PPD (skin test) and interferon based test (blood test). Of these two, I like the latter, because the accuracy doesn't depend on the reading skills of the test reader, so it is more objective than the PPD test. If any of those turn positive, the next step is to obtain a chest xray and sputum culture if cough and other symptoms are present. ...Read more

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If tuberculosis shows negatibe in everh test. But all thr symptoms supportd it...Doed TB medicine is advisable?

Symptoms?: In the US TB is treated with multiple meds at one time due to germ resistance and for months to years. I could never recommend such a treatment based only of suspicion & no verified testing. There are many alternative conditions that produce the vague symptoms often seen with TB & these must all be considered. ...Read more

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Does a TB test hurt?

Does a TB test hurt?

Not really: It is a tiny needle, just within the layers of the skin to create a fluid bubble. Takes a few seconds to apply. ...Read more

Dr. Klaus d Lessnau
1,215 Doctors shared insights

Tuberculosis (Definition)

A potentially serious infectious bacterial disease that ...Read more