While protecting your employees' overall health is our goal, we're also here to help you qualify your employees for certain job requirements. At Sharp Rees-Stealy, we offer two types of tuberculosis (TB) testing through our Occupational Health Program.
Tuberculin skin test.
A tuberculin skin test — also known as the purified protein derivative (PPD) test — determines if your employee has ever had TB. The test requires putting a small amount of TB protein antigens under the top layer of skin on the inner forearm. If your employee has ever been exposed to the TB bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), their skin will react to the antigens by developing a firm red bump at the site within two days.
"Reading" the skin test requires your employee return to our medical center in no less than 48 hours and no more than 72 hours after the injection. Tests read after 72 hours can be considered invalid and may require repeat testing.
QuantiFERON-TB Gold test.
QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT-G) blood testing replaces the PPD skin test. QFT-G more efficiently detects latent tuberculosis so your employees will rarely get false positives.
Other advantages include:
- Accuracy is not affected by prior BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin test, as well as possible repeat tests
- Test results are not affected by the booster phenomenon (i.e., increased sensitivity on subsequent test, leading to false-positive results)
- Test results are not subject to reader bias
- Regulatory approval in California has amended Title 22 to allow TB testing using QFT-G
For more information, please read the regulatory changes to TB screening and testing announcement from the California Department of Public Health.