• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.


Hi all

Here's another instalment in my long and frustrating journey to starting this drug! I was at the hospital today and my consultant said that my blood seems to show I've been exposed to TB at some point, and therefore it's not safe to start treatment until this has been investigated.

I was one of the last to get the BCG vaccination in school before it was phased out, and I'm sure this is probably why it's flagged up as that was a live vaccine, but she wants it looking into anyway just to be certain which is fair enough.

She's going to write to a specialist for advice, and potentially I'll have to go for a respiratory evaluation and take a course of treatment for TB. I'm already athsmatic, so chances are this won't help either.

Meanwhile my calprotectin from May was over 600, up from 111 in December 2016 when it was last checked so things are definitely flaring up as I suspected. It's very frustrating to have to sit on this knowledge and not be able to do a thing about it [emoji19]

Has anyone else been through this, and did it cause you any problems getting treatment?

Thanks in advance!


Staff member
Oh Soph, I'm so sorry! That's majorly frustrating, especially as I know you've been waiting so long to change treatment :(

I had the BCG vaccine as a baby and I asked my consultant about this when I last saw him because it was concerned it might affect my TB testing. He said it wouldn't affect the blood test (I'm not sure which test you had done but I had the T-SPOT TB test http://www.tspot.com/patients/). I know this doesn't help you much but I just wanted to mention it because if your results came up as positive or indeterminate, there's probably cause for further investigation It's definitely not worth the risk of activating it, especially with your asthma. That's not great comfort, especially when you've been waiting so long, but I hope it gets sorted as quickly as possible so they can get the ball rolling with a biologic. :)


Staff member
My girls also got the BCG vaccination. For them, skin tests for TB are always positive because of that. So we use the blood test (in the US, it's called Quanteferon Gold) and chest x-rays. They have been on biologics for years without any problems. The blood test and chest x-rays have always been negative, so despite the positive skin tests, they do NOT have latent TB and have never had it.

We were referred to infectious diseases before putting them on biologics. The doctor explained that it was the BCG vaccine that made their skin tests positive and as long as their blood test was negative and their chest x-rays were clear, they were allowed on biologics.

If your blood test is positive, I think that would mean that you do have latent TB. Then they would treat you for a couple months before putting you on a biologic. The treatment would be continued when you start the biologic - I think overall the treatment is 8 months of medication.

I'm going to tag my little penguin since she has experience with this.