Mantoux Screening

Clinical definition of the Mantoux test
It is one of the major tuberculin skin tests used as a diagnostic tool for tuberculosis infection. Tuberculosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis which usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It may cause pulmonary tuberculosis and other infections such as those of the skin and abdomen. It is spread through the air when people who have the disease cough, sneeze, or spit.
The other widely used tests used in the diagnosis & screening of Tuberculosis infection are:

  • AFB, smear examination
  • Culture, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
  • Mycobacterium antibody panel (TB-IgG, IgM, IgA)
  • Mycobacterium Tuberculosis by RT-PCR
  • Quantiferon TB Gold

Why is the Mantoux test done?
The Mantoux test is a skin test used for the diagnosis of infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The test checks for an immune response in the skin, by a person who has been exposed to the bacteria.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Mantoux test is done?
These symptoms may be diagnosed by and screened for:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Prolonged and Persistent cough
  • Blood in sputum
  • Painful breathing
  • Painful coughing
  • When TB severely spreads in the lungs it shows the following symptoms include 
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Prolonged cough for more than three weeks

What should I do before the Mantoux test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

No specimen type

PPD given on forearm

5 TU for children

10 TU for adults

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Mantoux test (10 TU) results?

Reference Range*


Diameter of Induration

0 to 4 mm


5 to 9 mm


10 mm and above


Inference: The reaction is read by measuring the diameter of induration (palpable raised hardened area) across the forearm (perpendicular to the long axis) in millimeters. If there is no induration, the result should be recorded as "0 mm". Erythema (redness) should not be measured.
‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the Mantoux test

  • Tuberculosis

Other tests related to the Mantoux test

  • Acid Fast Baciili Culture Test
  • Anti TB
  • TB-PCR Test
  • Quantiferon TB Gold Test
  • Malarial parasite smear
  • Typhoid
  • Atypical mycobacterial infection
  • TB skin test
  • Chest radiograph
  • Sputum smear
  • Molecular testing

Synonyms : Tuberculin Sensitivity Test, Pirquet test, Purified Protein Derivative (PPD)