TB testing may be referred to as Purified Protein Derivative (PPD), Mantoux, interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) test, Tuberculosis Skin Test (TST), or Tine test (this method of testing is no longer recommended due to its lack of accuracy).
Testing of School Students and Staff
The entire description of the TB testing requirements for schools is located in 28 PA Code, Chapter 23. Information for school students can be found in Section 23.9
and staff in Section 23.44
requirements The Pennsylvania
Public School Code, Section 1402(a)(4) requires that students be tested for TB.
The School Health regulations require that the testing occur upon original
entry into school and in grade nine. However, in November of 1997, a joint letter was sent to schools from the Departments of Health and
Education encouraging school boards to apply for a modification to the TB
testing requirement that would allow for the elimination of all TB testing of
students or to only test high-risk students. This modification applies to
students only. A copy of the letter is available at http://www.health.pa.gov/My%20Health/School%20Health/Documents/Communicable%20Diseases/Tuberculosis/TBtesting.pdf
All schools must continue to test employees and volunteers as
outlined below. If the school is located in an area with a county or municipal
health department, there may be requirements or requests from these local
health departments to alter TB testing policies. If school policies are
changed as a result of these requests or requirements, the school must also
submit a request for modification to the Department of Health (as noted below).
To request a
modification for TB testing of students The school entity must send a letter detailing the specific
modification they are requesting to the Division of School Health (1) on school
letterhead, (2) signed by the Superintendent/CEO, and (3) confirming that the
requested change has been incorporated into the school entity's health
policy/procedures with approval by the school board. The letter must be sent
to: Director, Division of School Health, 30 Kline Plaza, Harrisburg, PA 17104. Upon receipt of the request
the Division of School Health and the Secretary of Health will either deny or
approve the request and inform the school entity of the decision in a hard copy
letter sent to the Superintendent/CEO.
School staff requirements The Pennsylvania Public School Code, Section
1418(b) requires that school personnel be tested for TB. School personnel to be
tested include employees and independent contractors who provide direct
services to students on behalf of a school, including but not limited to
teachers, nurses, administrators, physicians, dentists, dental hygienists,
custodians, janitors, cooks, cafeteria workers, bus drivers,
librarians, psychologists, audiologists and counselors, and student teachers
and volunteers. The Department of Health defines "direct services" as
those persons in direct contact with students 10 or more hours/week. The law
does not contain a provision to allow modifications for school staff/volunteers.
They must be tested "prior to working for the school."
test shall be performed by the school physician, or by a physician of the
employee's choice. The person shall provide to the school a form that shows the
TB test was administered within three months prior to the data the school receives
the form. School personnel who have a documented nonsignificant tuberculin
test are not required to have further tests unless they are exposed to a case
of active TB or are directed otherwise by the Secretary of Health to have an
Pennsylvania Department of Health, Tuberculosis (TB) Fact Sheet
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis Handbook for School Nurses
(2015) From the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute. Information on whom and when to screen for TB can be found in Appendix C of this handbook. A sample TB risk assessment evaluation and tool can be found in Appendices C and E.
What Parents Need to Know about Tuberculosis in Children From the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute.
CDC TB testing and administration of live vaccine
The TB test and live vaccines can be administered at the same visit. If a live vaccines has been administered recently, TB testing should be delayed for at least four weeks after vaccination. TB testing can be performed and read before administration of the live vaccine. Scroll down to the last question of the FAQs.
Updated: August 2017