Smear-negative, culture-positive pulmonary tuberculosis among patients with chronic cough in Cotonou, Benin
OBJECTIVES: To assess the burden of smear-negative, culture-positive pulmonary TB among TB suspects in Cotonou, and to estimate the total number of non-smear-positive TB cases at country level.
DESIGN: For 1 year, one morning sputum culture was performed for every TB suspect (cough lasting >3 weeks, as defined in Benin's national guidelines) with three negative sputum smears (fluorescence technique).
RESULTS: Of 214 TB suspects for whom culture was performed, only 22 smear-negative, culture-positive cases were identified. During the same period, 831 sputum smear-positive cases were diagnosed. Culture therefore contributed only 2.6% of the total number of bacteriologically proven cases.
CONCLUSION: These results show the relatively low input of culture in TB diagnosis among chronic coughers in Cotonou, Benin, and demonstrates that the expected number of non-smear-positive TB cases in Benin is probably much lower than the World Health Organization's current annual estimates.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 2011-01-01
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