Also known as
Interferon-Gamma Release Assay or TB blood test.
Purpose of the QuantiFERON TB Test
The QuantiFERON test detects the presence of tuberculosis bacterium in the body. Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly contagious infectious disease, occurring primarily in the lungs, that can be life-threatening without prompt medical attention.
A QuantiFERON-TB test employs cutting-edge diagnostic technology to detect the antibodies that your body would produce in reaction to TB. Backed by extensive clinical research, the QuantiFERON blood test is considered better than a TB skin test because it’s more accurate and cost-effective, and it only requires a single blood draw.
What does the QuantiFERON Blood Test Measure?
In technical terms, the QuantiFERON Gold test uses special blood collection tubes that allow viable blood lymphocytes to be exposed to highly specific Tuberculosis antigens and test controls coated on the tubes’ inner surface. This antigen exposure induces a measurable immunological response that helps detect a tuberculosis infection.
Who Should Take a QuantiFERON Gold Test?
You should be tested if you’ve been in contact with someone who has TB, or if you have the following symptoms.
Active tuberculosis in the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis):
- Coughing for two to three weeks, sometimes with bloody spit
- Chills and fever
- Unanticipated weight loss
- Night sweats
- Chest pain
- Appetite loss
Symptoms of tuberculosis outside of the lungs (extrapulmonary illness) depend on the infection location and may include:
- Paralysis and back pain (spinal TB)
- Joint ache anemia, causing weakness (TB in the bone marrow)
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in the reproductive system or urinary tract
- Headaches or altered mental state (TB in the brain and/or central nervous system)
- Shortness of breath and fever (pericardium or military TB in multiple organs)
QuantiFERON TB Test Preparation
On the day of your QuantiFERON blood test, eat a nutritious breakfast and drink lots of water. Stay hydrated in the days leading up to your visit as well. This will help the blood test go much more smoothly.
QuantiFERON Gold Test Results
If you get a “positive” test result, it implies you have TB bacteria. Most patients who test positive for tuberculosis have a latent infection, which is asymptomatic. Your doctor will check on you and do a chest x-ray to be certain. Other tests may be required to determine if you have a latent TB infection or active TB so you get the proper treatment.
Where Can I Get a QuantiFERON-TB Gold Test Done Near Me?
Getting a QuantiFERON test near you is simple with Personalabs:
Step 1: Buy the test online from our selection of infectious disease tests and generate a lab order. This lab order doesn’t require a doctor’s approval, depending on the state that you’re in.
Step 2: Find a local lab near you.
Step 3: Present the order at the lab and get your blood drawn.
Step 4: Receive an accurate test result at your confidential Personalabs account (usually within 72 hours).
You can share your results with your doctor, or schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our board-certified physicians. Our customer service agents are also available to answer any of your questions about ordering a TB blood test. We’re here to help you take charge of your health.