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Treated for TB in spine. Type 1 diabetic. TB skin test showing recurrence. No symptoms. Is the test reliable?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am type1 Diebetic (in control, not taking any medications any more), also got TB in my bone (spine) in year 2005. I was completely cured from TB. Recently during my health checkup we did the TB skin test and it came positive (16 mm in size after 48 hrs). I don't have any symptoms of TB. In my blood report (2 months back) Everything was Ok including A1C, RBC, WBC etc.

How authentic is the this skin test? Does it mean my TB is repeating? What precautions should I take and what test should i undergo to get confirmation about TB?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
A positive skin test for tuberculosis after getting treated successfully for tuberculosis is not indicative of a repeat infection.
Since the skin test is based on the body's response to tubercular antigens, it is a non specific test and shows a positive result in all those who have been exposed to infection earlier in their life.
Serological evaluation for tuberculosis is best done by doing the test for IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies in the serum.
IgM antibodies, in high titre, usually develop in cases with a history of recent exposure to TB bacilli and are suggestive of an ongoing infection.
You can avoid smoking and keep your blood glucose levels well controlled to avoid a reinfection.
Associated clinical evaluation is necessary for confirmation of diagnosis.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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