Tuberculosis Tests With 270+ travel clinics nationwide, Passport Health is your local leading provider of travel vaccinations and medications. Prepare your health for travel, visit us before you go. What is Tuberculosis (TB)? Do I Need a TB Test? What Tests Are Available? Where Can I Get A TB Test? What is Tuberculosis (TB)? Tuberculosis is a bacteria-caused pulmonary infection that is spread through the air when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. This type of person-to-person contact can expose an individual to the disease, but exposure does not always mean he or she will show symptoms. Those infected with TB bacteria are not always visibly sick, but they may still need treatment to prevent the disease from developing in the future. If the infection does become active, the infected person will then become contagious and exhibit symptoms including a bad cough, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum, fatigue, weight loss and fever. The best way to identify tuberculosis infection, both latent and active, is through TB testing. Do I Need a TB Test? According to the Centers for Disease Control, tuberculosis testing is generally not needed for people with a low risk of infection with the TB bacteria. However, certain people should get a tuberculosis test because they are more likely to get TB or be exposed to the bacteria, and this group includes: People who have spent time with someone who has TB People who have spent significant time in countries where TB is common People who exhibit TB-like symptoms People who live or work in areas (domestically and internationally) where TB is common People who may be required to be tested by their employers For more information on those who may require a TB test or for whom it may be suggested, speak with a Passport Health Travel Specialist today. What Types of Tuberculosis Tests Are Available? TB Tuberculin Test A TB skin test (also known as the tuberculin skin test or PPD skin test) is often used to identify if someone has been infected with tuberculosis. New tests, such as QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube Test, identify the infection through blood testing. QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube Test The QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube Test is a new diagnostic test that measures T cells specific to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) antigens. Blood is drawn from the patient and sent to a lab to be analyzed. The test is more accurate than the TB skin test and is also more convenient since the patient does not have to come back for a reading. This saves time and money, particularly if the TB skin test produces a false positive or if a patient has had tuberculosis before–in which case the test would be positive and necessitate a chest radiograph. The QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube Test can diagnose both latent TB infection and TB disease in humans, and it is available at select Passport Health locations. PPD Skin Test This test involves using a small needle to insert tuberculin (a reactive chemical used to test against tuberculosis) under the skin’s surface and then watching for a reaction. This process usually takes a few days and requires the test to be ‘read’ by a nurse or other health professional. An inflammation similar to a mosquito bite (of 5 millimeters or more) indicates a positive test, though it does not necessarily mean an individual has or has been exposed to TB. A Passport Health nurse will be able to explain the process in more detail. Where Can I Get a TB Test? Passport Health offers convenient appointments for the PPD test, and walk-in appointments are available in some locations. After the TB test is performed, you must return to Passport Health in 48-72 hours to have your reaction checked/read by a clinician (unless you receive the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube Test). Passport Health has 270+ locations across North America. Please call for more information. So, if you are asking yourself, “Do I need a PPD Test?” or “Where do I get the Tuberculosis Skin Test (PPD Test)?“schedule an appointment with your local Passport Health travel medicine clinic.