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tuberculin test


Definition: application of the skin test to the diagnosis of infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis in which tuberculin or its “purified” protein derivative serves as an antigen (allergen); injection of graduated doses of tuberculin or of purified protein derivative into the skin, most often by means of a needle and syringe (Mantoux test) or by means of tines (tine test); test material may also be applied by means of a “patch” in which it is absorbed but this method (patch test) is considered less reliable; the test is read on the basis of induration and erythema, the former being considered the more diagnostic of infection with the tubercle bacillus (M. tuberculosis); the test does not distinguish between infection in a resistant person without disease and a person with clinical manifestations of disease.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.