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Free Content Washing of new microscopic glass slides in dichromate solution does not influence sputum AFB smear results [Notes from the Field]

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SETTING: Microscopy centres in Tiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu, India, implementing DOTS.

OBJECTIVE: To know whether washing new glass slides in dichromate solution is essential for effective sputum acid-fast bacilli microscopy.

METHODS: Two direct smears were prepared from each of 1750 sputum samples. One was made on dichromate solution-cleaned new glass slides and the other was made on unwashed new glass slides. The smears were blinded and examined.

RESULTS: Of the 1750 specimens, 13.5% and 13.08% were positive for AFB using washed and unwashed slides, respectively (P = 0.12). The concordance between these two (including one grade above and one below) was 98.7%.

CONCLUSION: Washing of new glass slides in dichromate solution is not essential for AFB microscopy.

Keywords: AFB; DOTS; slides; tuberculosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Tuberculosis Research Centre (ICMR), Chennai, India 2: WHO, SEARO, New Delhi, India

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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  • 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.

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