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TB Skin Test Antigen Again in Short Supply — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
September 6, 2013

TB Skin Test Antigen Again in Short Supply

By Amy Orciari Herman

Tubersol, one of two FDA-approved, tuberculin purified-protein derivatives used for tuberculin skin testing, will be in limited supply at least until mid-October, the CDC has announced. Another Tubersol shortage earlier this year was resolved, temporarily, in June.

The other FDA-appoved tuberculin skin test, Aplisol, is "on allocation," meaning that existing customers have priority for purchasing it. Regional shortages of Aplisol have occurred as customers switch from Tubersol.

As with the previous Tubersol shortage, the CDC is making the following recommendations:

  • Use interferon-gamma release assay blood tests instead of tuberculin skin tests.

  • Use Aplisol if available.

  • Reserve tuberculin skin tests for contact investigations and other priority indications.

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