Skip to main content

Free Content Evaluation of the MycoDot™ test in patients with suspected tuberculosis in a field setting in Tanzania

Download Article:
(PDF 199.048828125 kb)


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.

Keywords: HIV; diagnosis; serology; tuberculosis

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

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
  • Public Health Action
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more