There are several ways to test for tuberculosis (TB), including sputum smear microscopy (examining a sample of phlegm under a microscope), the culture test (growing bacteria from a sample), the tuberculin skin test (known as Mantoux or PPD), a blood test called interferon gamma release assay (IGRA), X-rays and scans.

TB diagnosis: latest news

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  • Tuberculosis

    Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection that usually affects the lungs.It can be very serious, particularly for people living with HIV who have a low CD4 count.TB can...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2

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  • Standard TB tests may not detect infection in certain exposed individuals

    An international collaboration of infectious disease experts has identified a large group of people who appear to have naturally mounted an immune response to TB, a bacterial infection that is the leading cause of infectious disease death worldwide. Nearly 200 people from 2500 households with active TB were clearly exposed to TB for more than 10 years but the two most reliable tests (TST and IGRA) came back negative on repeated tests.

    02 July 2019 | EurekAlert
  • Novel point-of-care TB test for patients with HIV superior to current test

    Study findings showed that a novel point-of-care tuberculosis test for patients with HIV offers superior diagnostic sensitivity to the currently available test while maintaining specificity, researchers reported.

    12 June 2019 | Healio
  • Xpert Ultra test for diagnosing TB now included in Cochrane Review

    The review author team found Xpert MTB/RIF to be sensitive and specific for diagnosing pulmonary TB and rifampicin resistance, consistent with findings reported previously. Compared with Xpert MTB/RIF, Xpert Ultra had higher sensitivity and lower specificity for TB detection and similar sensitivity and specificity for rifampicin resistance detection (one study).

    11 June 2019 | EurekAlert
  • Xpert testing to find TB in people with advanced HIV at diagnosis saves lives, study finds

    A study reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases this week confirms that patients newly diagnosed with HIV who were screened for TB with Xpert technology had higher survival rates in the year that followed than those screened with a point-of-care test using flourescent light-emitting microscopy.

    08 April 2019 | Science Speaks
  • Urine testing of people with HIV for tuberculosis can save lives and be cost-effective

    Screening all hospitalized patients with HIV for tuberculosis using urine tests would improve life expectancy and be cost-effective in Malawi and South Africa, reports an international team of investigators led by Massachusetts General Hospital physicians.

    23 January 2019 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
  • Fast, Cheap Testing for Tuberculosis? Soon It May Be Possible

    Diagnosing a lung disease like tuberculosis with a urine test may seem illogical, but a group of American researchers is now a step closer to that goal. Scientists at George Mason University have improved by at least 100 times the accuracy of testing for a sugar shed by tuberculosis bacteria, meaning that a simple dipstick urine test may soon become possible.

    02 January 2018 | New York Times
  • 3 innovations that could transform TB diagnosis and care

    Ending global tuberculosis will require new diagnostic tools, new ways to support adherence to treatment, new drug regimens, and a vaccine, experts told Devex at the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health.

    18 October 2017 | Devex
  • TB/HIV outreach finding patients in remote South Africa

    A novel tuberculosis and HIV case-finding method effectively detected people with both diseases in a remote area of South Africa, according to researchers.

    10 May 2017 | Healio
  • ‘Significant success’ in reducing TB and HIV/Aids in SA’s prisons

    Data presented at a five-day stakeholder meeting shows ‘significant success in screening and treatment for tuberculosis in Free State, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal prisons.

    16 March 2017 | Medical Brief
  • IDSA Guidelines Recommend Newer Tests to Diagnose Tuberculosis

    Patients at risk for latent or active tuberculosis (TB) infection should be assessed with newer tests, including interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) and molecular diagnostics, recommend guidelines on TB diagnosis developed by the American Thoracic Society (ATS), Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Advances in testing prompted the first new guidelines on TB diagnosis in 17 years.

    19 December 2016 | IDSA
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