The ability of physicians to diagnose tuberculosis is impacted by the use of smear and culture techniques combined with specimen processing methods. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of specimen processing on smear and culture sensitivity by comparing the specimen processing method that uses C18-carboxypropylbetaine with the method that combines sodium dodecyl sulfate and sodium hydroxide. A total of 1,201 specimens were entered into this study. Specimens were split approximately equally such that one-half of each specimen was processed with sodium dodecyl sulfate-sodium hydroxide, while the other half was processed with C18-carboxypropylbetaine. All sediments were subjected to acid-fast staining and then analyzed using the MB/BacT liquid culture system (bioMérieux, France) and solid media. The sensitivity of smear following processing with sodium dodecyl sulfate-sodium hydroxide and C18-carboxypropylbetaine was 61.2% and 58.6% (P>0.05), respectively, while the specificities were identical (99.7%). The sensitivity of culture was 84.2% and 96.1% (P<0.05), respectively. The time to detection in the MB/BacT liquid culture system was 13.2±5.6 and 15.0±8.8 days (P>0.05), respectively, and 20.0±7.6 and 15.7±8.9 days (P<0.05), respectively, on solid media. The contamination rates in the MB/BacT system were 0.8% and 8.7%, respectively, whereas the contamination rates on solid media were 2.6% and 4.3%, respectively. C18-carboxypropylbetaine specimen processing was less labor-intensive than sodium dodecyl sulfate-sodium hydroxide processing and improved the ability of laboratory staff to detect the presence of mycobacteria by culture.
|Journal||European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2003|