Tuberculosis diagnostics in Fiji: how reliable is culture?

Reddy, M., Gounder, S. and Reid, S. A. (2014) Tuberculosis diagnostics in Fiji: how reliable is culture?. Public Health Action, 4 3: 184-188. doi:10.5588/pha.14.0019

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Author Reddy, M.
Gounder, S.
Reid, S. A.
Title Tuberculosis diagnostics in Fiji: how reliable is culture?
Journal name Public Health Action   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2220-8372
Publication date 2014-09-21
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5588/pha.14.0019
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 4
Issue 3
Start page 184
End page 188
Total pages 5
Place of publication Paris, France
Publisher International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Setting: Acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear microscopy and Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture are the first-line diagnostic tests for tuberculosis (TB). The contamination of TB cultures significantly reduces the reliability of TB diagnosis.

Objective: To investigate factors associated with TB culture contamination in Fiji, and the relative diagnostic performance of culture compared to microscopy.

Design: All tests performed at the Daulakao Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory (DMRL) in Fiji from 2010 to 2012 were reviewed. Study variables included AFB smear and TB culture results, age and type of specimen, referring TB testing centre and patient age.

Results: Of 5708 specimens reviewed, 70% had both AFB smear and culture results recorded; 421 specimens were contaminated; 2.7% of specimens were either degraded or had no result recorded. There was moderate agreement ( = 0.577) between the two tests. Culture was more likely to be positive at higher AFB smear scores. Culture contamination was associated with distance from the DMRL, sample age and operator-associated factors.

Conclusion: Increases in the speed of referral from TB testing centres or the addition of preservatives to sputum specimens may results in less culture contamination. The planned introduction of liquid culture techniques in combination with culture on Ogawa media is likely to increase the sensitivity of TB diagnosis in Fiji.
Keyword Fiji
TB culture
Acid fast bacilli smear microscopy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Wed, 22 Oct 2014, 11:51:08 EST by Simon Reid on behalf of School of Public Health