TB Skin Tests

Tuberculosis or TB is caused by bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis. Primarily, the bacteria attacks the lungs, but it can also affect the kidneys, spine and even brain. Tuberculosis is spread airborne from one person to another. It is not contracted by touch, sharing saliva, or sharing food or drinks. TB is a respiratory disease so it is spread from coughing, sneezing, speaking or singing in a common air space.

Not everyone who contracts TB gets sick, known as latent TB. There are two conditions of tuberculosis, latent TB and TB disease. Patients with TB disease become sick because the bacteria is active and multiplying in your body. Latent TB is not as infectious and cannot be spread to others, unlike TB disease where it can be contracted by those who live or often associate with them.

A TB skin test is performed to determine if a person is exposed to tuberculosis. The vaccination for tuberculosis disease is called Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG); however, it is almost never used in the United States and typically used for patients with tuberculosis in third world countries.

Testing for TB requires two visits to the clinic. First, when you receive the skin test and second, about 48 hours later, to let our medical staff evaluate the skin reaction. Healthcare workers are tested on an individual basis because their exposure to tuberculosis is much higher than that of non-healthcare workers.

Without insurance, TB skins test are about $60. Price varies depending on the patient. Please call our office to get an accurate price.