Tuberculin Test (MT)

What is this test?

This test is considered an important tool for screening of Tuberculosis (TB). This test helps in detecting the tuberculosis infection and helps in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Sometimes the individuals affected with this infection do not exhibit any symptoms of this the disease. This is called latent tuberculosis and Mantoux test helps in detecting latent tuberculosis.

What is tuberculosis(TB)?

Tuberculosis is an infection of lungs caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium. Hence it is also known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is a contagious infection which can spread even through the air and needs immediate treatment. In most cases, tuberculosis will be in a latent stage where there are no signs and symptoms of the disease. As the bacteria enter the body they will be in a latent stage exhibiting no symptoms. If latent tuberculosis is left untreated it may lead to an active stage where the symptoms of the disease are observed. In the active stage, bacteria starts damaging the tissue. The symptoms include fever, cough, cough with blood, chest pain, shortness of breath, night sweats, sudden and unexplained weight loss, tiredness. Tuberculosis usually attacks lungs but in rare cases, the infection might spread to the brain, spine, joints, kidneys, etc.

Why this test is performed?

This test may be recommended to you if you are suspected to have tuberculosis. If you show certain signs and symptoms like a cough, fever, coughing up with blood, chest pain, shortness of breath, night sweats, sudden weight loss, tiredness, etc this test may be performed. This test may also be recommended in case of tuberculosis of other organs like kidneys, spine, brain, joints, etc. This test is preferred in other cases like, if you are recently diagnosed with HIV or any other disease that weakens your immune system, if you are from a place where tuberculosis is prevalent if you are on a medication that suppresses your immune system if you use illegal drugs, etc. This test is also performed in pregnancy conditions.


The test results may be altered if you are recently vaccinated against tuberculosis and there may be chances of getting false positive results. You may get false negative if you are malnourished or on any medications that may suppress your immune system. Hence inform your doctor or technician about all your current medications and medical conditions.

Also known as TB Skin Test, TB Mantoux Test.