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TB Testing

How is TB diagnosed?

There are two kinds of tests that can be used to help detect TB infection - the TB skin test (TST) and special TB blood tests. A positive TB skin test or TB blood test only tells that a person has been infected with TB bacteria. It does not tell whether or not the person has progressed to TB disease. Other tests, such as a chest x-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed to see whether the person has TB disease.

Who should get a TB test?

You should get tested for TB if:

  • You have spent time with a person known to have active TB disease or suspected to have active TB disease; or
  • You have HIV infection, drink heavily or are an intravenous drug user, or have another condition the weakens the immune system and puts you at high risk for active TB disease; or
  • You think you might have active TB disease; or
  • You are from a country where active TB disease is very common (most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia); or
  • You live somewhere in the United States that active TB disease is more common such as a homeless shelter, migrant farm camp, prison or jail, and some nursing homes.

How Should I Get Tested for TB?

Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) does not provide TB screening for work, school or volunteering. However, if you have other risk factors for TB, you may qualify for TB screening through PHMDC. PHMDC screens clients for TB with TB blood tests called Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs). T-Spot and QFT are two types of TB blood test that PHMDC uses for TB screening. To get a QFT test, call Public Health Madison & Dane County at: 266-4821.

  • A receptionist will screen you for TB screening eligibility. If eligible, the receptionist will schedule an appointment with you..
  • At your appointment, you will fill out paperwork and have your blood drawn.

Lab test results will be sent to you in the mail typically within 1-2 weeks.

If you need a TB test quickly, you may want to get a TB skin test at one of the following:


  • 1619 North Stoughton Road, Madison, 244-1213
  • 358 Junction Road, Madison, 829-1888

Call them for hours and cost.

Key Contacts
(608) 266-4821