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Everything You Need to Know About AFB Test and Why It is Done

Posted on the 01 November 2018 by Cheekymeeky

AFB Testing, also known as Acid-Fast Bacillus test, is a TB culture test carried out to identify or detect infection due to Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and the cause of Tuberculosis. AFB Test is the test recommended by a doctor when one suffers from some bacterial infection. In the past few years, the number of people who suffer from Tuberculosis is reduced. But, still the cases are reported in India. This test is also prescribed to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

When you should take the test?

If there is any symptom of lung infection, it is necessary to take the test. There may be weight loss, chronic cough, chills, fever or overall weakness, suggesting tuberculosis. This may also result from nontuberculosis mycobacterial infection or NTM. When the TB screening test is positive and there is also the risk of moving towards active disease, it is necessary to take the test. If a certain region of the body or your skin is infected, it can be due to mycobacteria. It is necessary to take the test. Even when you are undergoing the treatment, the doctor can prescribe the test. Along with AFB testing, the doctor can also suggest tpha test to detect titration of antibody.

How is the test carried out?

For the Acid-Fast Bacillus test, the blood sample may be collected or even the urine. As per the doctor's recommendations, the sample of blood, urine, skin tissue, bone marrow or stool may be collected for testing.

There are several reasons for taking the test. The test is done to detect bacterial infection. It helps to diagnose Tuberculosis. The kind of result attained from the test is dependent on the bacteria tested. When the test is done from sputum or phlegm of the patient and it reads positive, the person has TB.

The various symptoms of acid-fast bacillus

Acid-fast bacillus test will be immediately recommended when the doctor observes some symptoms like loss of appetite, weight loss, high fever, chills, chest ache, too much fatigue, etc. If any of the symptoms are found, the doctor prescribes the test. You may be experiencing excessive weakness or the feeling of fatigue. You must never ignore such symptoms and take the test. The cost of the test is not very high. In India, it may be between Rs. 150-Rs1000.

What is tested during the process?

Most of the blood samples collected for ACB testing is collected when the doctor suspects lung infection or tuberculosis. Mycobacteria are also known as acid-fast bacilli since it is the rod-shaped bacterial group. This may easily be seen under the microscope. When the test is conducted, several kinds of AFB may be detected. However, the common and the most important one is member of genus Mycobacterium, namely, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is one of widely prevalent infectious mycobacteria species.

Can Tuberculosis be transmitted?

Even if the infected person sneezes, the disease may transmit. The disease is public health risk. It may spread easily among populations. AFB testing is the way to tracking the disease and preventing it from spreading.

Collection of sample

The sample of blood, bone marrow, urine or anything having acid-fast bacilli is collected as per the requirement. Mostly the urine or phlegm of the person is collected for testing.

You may take AFB testing, PTH test from the comfort of your home. The lab professional can collect blood sample or urine sample right from your home.

Reference link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC477701/

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