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Open Access LED fluorescence microscopy increases the detection of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in medical colleges of India [Short communication]

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In July 2012, light-emitting diode fluorescence microscopy (LED-FM) replaced conventional light microscopy using Ziehl-Neelsen stain in the detection of sputum-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in 190 microscopy centres of medical colleges operating under India's Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme. We compared the performance of LED-FM (July–December 2012) to that of conventional microscopy (July–December 2011) across 190 sites. Of 222 658 patients examined using conventional microscopy, 28 042 (12.6%) were smear-positive, while of 224 714 examined using LED-FM, 33 552 (14.9%) were smear-positive, an additional yield of 5251 cases after adjusting for the increase in patients examined. We recommend replacing conventional microscopy with LED-FM in high workload microscopy centres in India.
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Keywords: India; LED-FM; fluorescence microscopy; medical colleges; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India 2: Central TB Division, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, India 3: World Health Organization Country Office for India, New Delhi, India

Publication date: September 21, 2013

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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