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Free Content Smear-negative, culture-positive pulmonary tuberculosis among patients with chronic cough in Cotonou, Benin

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Abstract:

SETTING: The main tuberculosis (TB) centre in Benin, West Africa, where only 2% of adult pulmonary TB cases are sputum smear-negative, all other pulmonary cases being smear-positive.

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.

Keywords: Benin; culture; microscopy; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Programme National Contre la Tuberculose, Cotonou, Benin 2: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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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.

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

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