Evaluation of the MycoDot™ test in patients with suspected tuberculosis in a field setting in Tanzania
Abstract:SETTING: Rapid, simple and inexpensive methods are needed to improve the diagnosis of tuberculosis in low-income countries. The MycoDot™ test has these characteristics.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the utility of the MycoDot™ test in screening patients with suspected tuberculosis.
DESIGN: Ambulatory patients presenting with symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis were evaluated by physical examination and sputum acid-fast bacilli (AFB) microscopy. Separately, the MycoDot™ test was performed on whole blood. Patients with AFB-negative smears were treated with a 10-day course of erythromycin. Those remaining symptomatic had a chest radiograph. All sputum specimens were cultured for mycobacteria. Patients with culture-negative tuberculosis and those without a tuberculosis diagnosis were reassessed at 2 months.
RESULTS: Among the 241 patients who were evaluated, the MycoDot™ test was positive in 26% of patients with AFB-positive/culture-positive tuberculosis, 7% with AFB-negative/culture-positive tuberculosis, 7% with culture-negative tuberculosis, 19% treated for tuberculosis who did not meet study case definitions, and 16% without tuberculosis. Twenty four patients did not complete the assessment. Test sensitivity was 16%, specificity 84% and positive predictive value 45%. Sensitivity was highest (41%) in AFB-positive/HIV-negative patients and lowest (3%) in AFB-negative/HIV-positive patients.
CONCLUSION: The MycoDot™ test is not useful for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in sub-Saharan African countries, especially where HIV infection is prevalent.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: National Institute for Medical Research, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 2: WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme, Geneva, Switzerland 3: National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Publication date: 1999-03-01
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