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Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious, usually curable, disease. It’s estimated that TB killed nearly one-and-a-half million people in 2010. There are various ways you can be tested for TB, including skin and blood tests and chest X-Rays.
Children are generally vaccinated against TB in the UK by having the Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination as part of their immunisations.
You will need to have one of the internationally-accepted Mantoux skin tests before a BCG vaccination.
If you have been infected with the TB bacteria but are not showing any symptoms, then you may need screening for a latent TB infection. This means that although you have the infection, you won’t show any symptoms and cannot pass the infection to others. You will know you have a latest TB infection if you have a positive reaction to a TB blood test.
At Pall Mall Medical we offer different types of screening:
You may be required to prove that you have been vaccinated against TB. One of our GPs can do this by providing a BCG scar certificate when confirmed by examination.
Mantoux test shows whether your body has ever been exposed to TB germs. This skin test involves injecting a substance called PPD tuberculin into the skin of your forearm. You will require two appointments for the Mantoux test – first to administer the test then after 48 hours to measure the results.
If you then need to have the BCG vaccination, confirmed by the Mantoux test results, you can have it – there is a vaccination cost of £65.
The Quantiferon TB gold blood test is a whole-blood test used in diagnosing mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (causative agent of most cases of tuberculosis), latent tuberculosis infection (LBTI) and TB itself. This test may be especially useful in patients suspected of having possible false-positive Tuberculin Skin Testing (TST) due to previous BCG vaccination or an environmental (non-tuberculosis) mycobacterial infection.
If you've had a positive skin test or a positive Quantiferon TB gold blood test it would be recommended to have a chest X-Ray. This may show white spots in your lungs where your immune system has walled off TB bacteria, or it may reveal changes in your lungs caused by active tuberculosis.
BCG scar verification + certificate
(appointment also required at additional £25 with a Nurse or £70 with a GP)
Mantoux TB test
(2 visits are required for this test)
Quantiferon TB gold blood test
(appointment also required at additional £25)
(a referral letter is required, which can be provided by Pall Mall Medical free of charge)