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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Exposed to Tuberculosis as an child - PPD test appropriate?

 tadd89 - Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:25 pm

I am a 19-year-old male. I was exposed to a child with TB while being babysat as a very young child (~1 years old). I was put on medications (INH suspension) for a year. I have been told that I cannot have a PPD skin test due to the presence of antibodies and that I have to have a chest x-ray instead.

I just wanted to get a second opinion on the veracity of antibodies staying in my system for so long. If at all possible I would like to have a PPD test instead of a chest x-ray, as I will likely have to have one or the other annually for the rest of my life (entering the medical profession). Is this possible, or will I always test positive?

Thank you.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:42 pm

User avatar Hello,
It is true that you cannot rely on PPD for TB screening after having been treated for infection (not active) in the past. States vary on their rules regarding follow up for professions such as health care. Overall the CDC does not recommend annual chest x-rays but only if medically indicated such as with symptoms. You have to follow the state law in this matter even if it is not the same as CDC guidelines so if your state requires it, right now that is your only option. I'm sorry I can't give you a better alternative.

Best wishes and good luck in your career.

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