Testing for TB

Testing for TB

Certain people should be tested for TB infection because they are at higher risk for being infected with TB bacteria, including:

  • People who have spent time with someone who has TB disease
  • People from a country where TB disease is common (most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia)
  • People who live or work in high-risk settings (for example: correctional facilities, long-term care facilities or nursing homes, and homeless shelters)
  • Health-care workers who care for patients at increased risk for TB disease
  • Infants, children and adolescents exposed to adults who are at increased risk for latent tuberculosis infection or TB disease

As part of the screening process, before being tested, your risk of having TB infection will be assessed.  If you are deemed low risk for TB then testing may not be necessary.  If you are deemed high risk you should be tested for TB infection.  Testing should be done with the intention to treat the infection if testing results in a positive diagnosis of TB infection.

There are two commonly used tests for TB infection, interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) and Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST).  A health care provider should decide which TB infection test is best for you.

For more information on TB infection test types please click on the following link: