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Mantoux Tuberculosis Skin Test Facilitator Guide

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Introduction

An estimated 2 billion people, or one third of the world's population, are infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. One reason so many people are infected with TB is that it’s spread through the air from one person to another.

When someone with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes, the bacteria are expelled into the air. If people nearby breathe in these bacteria, they can become infected, and usually the infection remains latent.

In latent TB infection, the bacteria are made inactive by the body’s immune system. The bacteria can remain inactive for many years, perhaps for life. Most people who become infected with TB don’t get active TB disease.

However, an infected person remains at risk of developing active TB disease at any time. The bacteria can become active and multiply, especially if the immune system becomes impaired.

The bad news is, approximately 2 million people in the world die each year from active TB disease.

The good news is, people who have latent TB infection can get treatment that will prevent the development of active TB disease.

As a health care worker, you play an important role in controlling TB. Your knowledge and skills are valuable in accurately identifying people who have TB infection.

In this video you’ll learn how to test for TB infection by administering and reading the Mantoux tuberculin skin test.

The Mantoux tuberculin skin test should always be placed and read by a designated, trained health care worker.

Facilitator note

Discuss skin test training, certification programs, and requirements in your locality. In your work site:

  • What type of health care worker is designated to place and read the skin test: a nurse, outreach worker, or someone else?
  • Is placing and reading done by one person or different people?
  • What courses must be taken by health care workers who place and read the skin test?
  • Are there required renewal classes?
  • Where and how often is this renewal training offered?
 
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE)
    1600 Clifton Rd., NE
    MS E10
    Atlanta, GA 30329
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO
  • Page last reviewed: September 1, 2012
  • Page last updated: September 1, 2012
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