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Testing in BCG-Vaccinated Persons

Many people born outside of the United States have been given a vaccine called BCG.

People who were previously vaccinated with BCG may receive a TB skin test to test for TB infection. Vaccination with BCG may cause a false positive reaction to a TB skin test. A positive reaction to a TB skin test may be due to the BCG vaccine itself or due to infection with TB bacteria.

TB blood tests (IGRAs), unlike the TB skin test, are not affected by prior BCG vaccination and are not expected to give a false-positive result in people who have received BCG. TB blood tests are the preferred method of TB testing for people who have received the BCG vaccine.

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