TB T-Spot test



 Principles of the T-Spot assay


  • T-SPOT TB is an in vitro diagnostic test for the detection of effector T cells that respond to stimulation by Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens and is intended for use as an aid in the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection.
  • The test is suitable for use with all patients at risk of latent tuberculosis infection or suspected of having TB disease, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, therapy or immune status.


  •  The test should only be considered after discussion with a chest physician, Consultant Microbiologist or a specialist physician.
  • Samples can only be taken Monday to Friday and must be received in the GRH Microbiology laboratory by 3.00pm. If taken in Cheltenham please allow time for transport to Gloucester. It is recommended that the request form is clearly marked as "URGENT" and that the sample is taken to CGH Pathology Reception by hand.
  • Please inform the laboratory when the sample is being sent.
  • See also:

Sample requirements


Blood in TWO 6 mL lithium heparin tubes




For paediatric samples, use two paediatric lithium heparin collection tubes and collect as much sample as possible

6 mL lithium heparin tube


Paediatric Mini Collect lithium heparin tube

Required information

  • Relevant clinical details
  • Whether test is being performed to screen for suspected latency (asymptomatic) or for current, active TB infection
  • M. tuberculosis exposure history
  • Immunocompromise
  • If test is being performed prior to immunosuppressive treatment
  • If patient is a healthcare worker
  • Please inform the laboratory when the sample is being sent


Do not refrigerate or freeze whole blood samples

Store and transport at room temperature

Samples must be received in the GRH Microbiology laboratory by 3.00pm

Turnaround time

Sent to a National Reference Centre

2 - 3 days

Page last reviewed: 30/03/2015