1887

Abstract

Nucleic acid amplification techniques (NAATs) have been demonstrated to make significant improvements in the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), particularly in the time to diagnosis and the diagnosis of smear-negative TB. The BD ProbeTec strand displacement amplification (SDA) system for the diagnosis of pulmonary and non-pulmonary tuberculosis was evaluated. A total of 689 samples were analysed from patients with clinically suspected TB. Compared with culture, the sensitivity and specificity for pulmonary samples were 98 and 89 %, and against final clinical diagnosis 93 and 92 %, respectively. This assay has undergone limited evaluation for non-respiratory samples and so 331 non-respiratory samples were tested, identifying those specimens that were likely to yield a useful result. These were CSF ( = 104), fine needle aspirates ( = 64) and pus ( = 41). Pleural fluid ( = 47) was identified as a poor specimen. A concern in using the SDA assay was that low-positive samples were difficult to interpret; 7.8 % of specimens fell into this category. Indeed, 64 % of the discrepant results, when compared to final clinical diagnosis, could be assigned as low-positive samples. Specimen type did not predict likelihood of a sample being in the low-positive zone. Although the manufacturers do not describe the concept of a low-positive zone, we have found that it aids clinical diagnosis.

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2004-12-01
2019-11-22
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