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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-54

Laboratory Diagnosis of Tuberculosis - a review

Professor, Dept of Microbiology, PESIMSR, Kuppam, A.P, India

Correspondence Address:
C Nagaraj
Professor, Dept of Microbiology, PESIMSR, Kuppam, A.P
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2666-1802.260109

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Tuberculosis is a disease affecting many persons around the world, especially those living in developing and under developed nations and associated with high percentage of morbidity and mortality making it a disease of Public Health importance. It affects many organs of the body. For many years, sputum microscopic examination, culture and X - ray are the good old cost-effective methods used to diagnose Tuberculosis. Though it appears simple, some times it is challenging even to the most experienced physician as well as a laboratory personnel. Limitations of microscopic diagnosis of tuberculosis includes :
  1. It requires trained personnel and
  2. requires the bacteria to be present in good numbers (5000 - 10000 per ml of sputum). Under this situation, quality of the sputum must be of good quality. But many a time, instead of sputum, the sample would have more saliva.
  3. Conventional Culture method has been replaced by newer methods mainly to reduce the cultivation time. In addition, the newer methods are also providing testing opportunities for understanding drug resistance among mycobacteria.
This has lead to the development of better techniques that includes simple modification method using Auramine as a fluorescent dye and LED bulb to give better illumination and also to excite the fluorescent dye to make things visible. In addition, there have been improvements in culture techniques. During the long association of these bacteriawith man, the bacteria have developed drug resistance (MDR-TB and XDR-TB). To address this problem, scientific development is also going hand in hand with the development of newer diagnostics, which includes, development of nucleic acid detection tests. Additional diagnostic needs have come from the need for better understanding of the organism such as speciation, detection of the organism in various body fluids, etc. All these tests require proper development of quality assessment tools to maintain the quality of the laboratory. This article describes the various diagnostic tools used in Mycobacteriology

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