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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2006 Nov;10(11):1248-54.

Early and rapid microscopy-based diagnosis of true treatment failure and MDR-TB.

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  • 1Damien Foundation Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.



Damien Foundation tuberculosis (TB) control project in Bangladesh.


Early diagnosis of true TB treatment failure and multidrug resistance (MDR) for more efficient DOTS-Plus.


Prospective comparison of performance on smear-positive sputum of fluorescein diacetate (FDA) vital staining vs. culture, and of slide drug susceptibility testing (slide DST) vs. the Löwenstein-Jensen (LJ) proportion method.


FDA reached 92% positive and 97% negative predictive value directly on fresh sputum, but only 94% and 62%, respectively, on transported smears. Accuracy on washed cetylpyridinium chloride transported sputum was similar to that on fresh sputum. Slide DST on fresh smear-positive sputum failed less often than LJ DST, with 96% accurate results for rifampicin and MDR-TB diagnosis. Good results were obtained for isoniazid (90% accuracy), but not for ethambutol or streptomycin.


We can confirm that FDA staining allows rapid screening for viable acid-fast bacilli and true treatment failure in delayed smear converters or smear-defined failures, while slide DST assures fast and accurate confirmation of MDR-TB in selected populations. The tests can be applied safely in resource-poor settings. Their successive use could be an efficient strategy for screening and an early start on standardised regimens of DOTS-Plus candidates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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