Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. TB has further been exacerbated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB and extensively drug-resistant TB. In 2015, approximately 1.4 million people and 400,000 who were HIV-negative and HIV-positive, respectively, died of TB. There were 10.4 million new cases with active TB of which 2.4 million were HIV co-infected and 480,000 new cases with MDR-TB. Conclusions: TB is a multifaceted disease and there is no one size fits all test for its diagnosis. In the 22 high TB burden countries (HTBBC), which harbour 80% of global TB, sputum smear microscopy with its low detection rate remains the most commonly used diagnostic test for pulmonary TB. Culture, the gold standard for TB diagnosis, the molecular-based tests for both rapid diagnosis and detection of drug resistant TB because of the requirement for specialized laboratories and trained personnel as well as other costs is not routinely used in most HTBBC. An accurate, affordable, point-of-care TB test, with no requirement for electricity, specialized laboratory, easily performed by healthcare personnel is what is urgently needed for TB control.
Part of the book: Tuberculosis