The tuberculin skin test is performed to evaluate whether a person has been exposed to tuberculosis. If there has been a prior exposure, antibodies are formed and remain in the body. During the skin test, the tuberculosis antigen is injected under the skin and if antibodies are present, the body will have an immune response. There will be an area of inflammation at the site of the injection.
Review Date 12/24/2020
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.