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Lab issue could impact Virginia tuberculosis tests

RICHMOND, Va. — The results of nearly 200 tuberculosis tests given in Virginia over a two-month period may have been impacted by a lab issue, the state announced Friday afternoon. The Department of General Services has notified doctors offices about the “equipment issue.”

“Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) recently identified the equipment issue, which may have led to the reporting of false negative results for 177 individuals over a two-month period. The incorrect setting on a backup centrifuge used to process samples could have resulted in a slight reduction in the ability to identify trace amounts of the TB bacteria,” a spokesperson said. “The state laboratory supplied health care providers a list of their patients who could have been impacted. While the potential for false negative results is minimal, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommended that health care providers review each patient on the list to determine if additional tests are needed.”

The Virginia Department of Health reported 205 cases of TB in Virginia last year.