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Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious, usually curable, disease. It is 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 also via a chest X-ray. This is a common private testing requirement for many VISA applications when travelling or working abroad outside of the EU.
Children are generally vaccinated against TB in the UK by having the Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination as part of their national schedule of immunisations. You will need to have one of the internationally-accepted Mantoux skin tests before a BCG vaccination if you did not have this.
Whether a medical examination requirement for work/travelling abroad, or 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. 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 GP's can do this by providing a BCG scar certificate when confirmed by a physical examination in clinic.
The Mantoux TB 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 – the first to administer the test, then a second after 48 hours to measure the results.
If you then need to have the BCG vaccination, confirmed by the Mantoux test results – there is an additional 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.
The chest x-ray for TB is also the most common requirement for private TB testing as part of the application process for working/travelling abroad. A chest xray report from a Consultant Radiologist will normally be issued within 72 hours following the chest screen, which can be included as evidence within your medical paperwork forms. We also offer full Private GP Services for any other medical elements you may require on your forms.
BCG scar verification + certificate
(appointment also required at additional £70 with a GP)
Mantoux TB test
(2x visits are required for this test)
Quantiferon TB gold blood test
(appointment also required at additional £25)
(a referral letter is required, Pall Mall Medical can provide this free of charge)