Impact of sputum quality and quantity on smear and culture positivity: findings from a tuberculosis prevalence study in central India

Bhat, Jyothi; Rao, Vikas; Muniyandi, Malaisamy; Yadav, Rajiv; Karforma, Chandan; Luke, Canina
January 2014
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene;Jan2014, Vol. 108 Issue 1, p55
Academic Journal
Background The objective of this study was to assess the impact of sputum quality and quantity on smear and culture positivity for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Methods A total of 14 708 sputum specimens, collected from respiratory symptomatics in a TB prevalence survey, were evaluated for gross appearance and volume of sputum and examined by smear microscopy and culture. Results The smear and culture positivity increased with the quantity and the up gradation in quality of sputum, and the difference was significant. Conclusion The study highlights the importance of visual screening of sputum specimens in the detection of pulmonary TB particularly in resource limited settings.


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