TB Test by PPD & QuantiFERON (QFT)

Pre-employment and annual tb tests for employees

Blood work was done fast and didn't even hurt when I got pricked. Learned how to wear some mask in case of an emergency and the plus is there's free Wi-Fi.
—Mobile Health Patient

PPD Test (Skin) and QuantiFERON (QFT) Blood Screening

TB Test PPD QFT Mobile Health

Many employee compliance exams include a TB TEST. Depending on the job function and industry, workers may be required to receive a tuberculosis check during the pre-employment process and every year as an annual exam. Mobile Health offers two ways to administer the TB Test: the PPD test, a skin test, and the QuantiFERON (QFT) blood screen.

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Health care workers, home care aides, schools, caseworkers, and other employees who work with large or vulnerable health populations may require a TB test.

Mobile Health offers individual testing as well as corporate accounts to help employers manage their employee compliance requirements.

TB Test Information

What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial (mycobacterium tuberculosis) infection, travels through the bloodstream and lymph nodes to organs – typically the lungs. If a person is asymptomatic, then it is referred to as latent tuberculosis.  The infection can become active and be very dangerous among populations with weakened immune systems.

Tuberculosis is airborne and highly contagious. For this reason,  occupations working with large groups of people or communities with weakened immune systems require a TB test.

How do you conduct a TB test?

Mobile Health offers two methods of testing for tuberculosis: a PPD implant and a QuantiFERON blood test.

During a PPD test, the patient receives a shot under the top layer of skin, on their forearm. The PPD implant contains Tuberculosis antigens called purified protein derivatives (PPD). If the patient has been exposed to the tuberculosis bacteria, a firm red bump will develop at the injection site within two days.

The PPD skin test is also known as a Mantoux test.  Read more about the PPD test here.

A QuantiFERON tuberculosis test (QFT) provides an alternative to the PPD implant method.  The The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the QuantiFERON blood test to diagnose latent or active tuberculosis in a patient. Read more about the QuantiFERON TB test here.  The QFT test typically only requires one visit to a clinic.

PPD Test

The most common form of TB testing, the Mantoux skin PPD test, has been used for nearly 100 years around the world.

The Mantoux skin PPD test is more susceptible to an incorrect positive result. Two primary reasons for a false positive PPD test result include:

  • Individuals who received a TB vaccine called the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) will almost always test positive with a PPD skin test. They will require a follow-up visit to the clinic for a chest tuberculosis x-ray or QuantiFERON blood test for confirmation. In the case of a patient, Mobile Health will recommend an alternative to the PPD TB test to avoid additional procedures.
  • Individuals who have latent tuberculosis will also test positive for a PPD skin test. Latent tuberculosis is not considered dangerous or contagious. However, it will report a positive result with the PPD Mantoux test. Just like recipients of the BCG vaccine, Mobile Health will recommend that they do not receive a PPD due to the possible false positive.

 

Patients who always receive a false positive PPD result can request a Tuberculosis Screening Questionnaire.  The questionnaire is an alternative to another PPD with a follow-up chest tuberculosis x-ray.

The PPD test takes 48-72 hours and requires at least two visits to complete. This may delay a candidate’s employment start date and inconvenience travel . Alternatively, the QuantiFERON (QFT) test requires one visit, and laboratory analysis rules out false positives.

QuantiFERON (QFT) Testing

The QuantiFERON blood draw exam aids in diagnosing tuberculosis. QuantiFERON tests have the advantage of requiring only one office visit and virtually eliminating the possibility of a false positive.  This expedites compliance and clearing individuals for work . The FDA approved the QFT test for use with adult patients.

Positive TB Test Result

Cases of positive TB test results require a follow-up chest x-ray for visual confirmation. Both PPD testing and QuantiFERON blood tests are industry-standard testing for TB screening.  However, false positives may occur with both screenings. Consequently, the only way to confirm active tuberculosis in a patient is through a chest x-ray.

Chest x-rays are available to all patients who have a positive PPD skin test or QuantiFERON test result at Mobile Health.

Due to the type of test, a PPD test result returns more false positives than a QuantiFERON test. At all times, Mobile Health recommends the QuantiFERON TB blood test for a more accurate result.

Who needs a TB test?

Common occupations requiring a tuberculosis test for employment include health care workers, home health aides, laboratory workers, and teachers.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides additional TB test guidance.

Where can I get a TB test near me?

Mobile Health has clinics located throughout New York City and Long Island as well as 3,300 national partnerships with urgent care and local providers offering TB testing. You can access a complete list here. Many are located near major cities and in central downtown locations, with easy access to by car or mass transit. Depending on the location, TB testing options, include: a PPD skin test, QuantiFERON blood test, Chest X-Ray, Tuberculosis Screening Questionnaire.

 


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