Testing & Diagnosis for Tuberculosis (TB) in Children

How is TB diagnosed?

TB is usually diagnosed with a simple skin test. During this test, a doctor or nurse injects a small amount of testing fluid (called tuberculin or PPD) just under the skin on the underside of your child’s forearm. After two or three days, we check the skin. If a certain kind of bump has developed, the test may be positive for TB infection. This means that your child:

  • may have TB infection
  • will need additional tests such as a chest x-ray and sputum test
  • may need to take medication

It does not mean your child can spread TB germs to others.

QFT Gold test

The QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) test is a blood test that can determine if your child has been infected with TB. With this test, your child only needs to visit the doctor once, to have some blood drawn. You are then notified when the results become available, which can be as soon as the next day.

Other tests that may be used to confirm a diagnosis of TB include: