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PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24435. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024435. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

A multi-center study to evaluate the performance of phage amplified biologically assay for detecting TB in sputum in the pulmonary TB patients.

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  • 1Shanghai Key Laboratory of Tuberculosis, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.



To evaluate the performance of phage amplified biologically assay (PhaB) for detecting tuberculosis (TB) in sputum in the pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients.


Shanghai Tuberculosis Key Laboratory of Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital participated in the project in collaboration with the laboratories of six hospitals and a total of 1660 eligible participants (1351 PTB patients and 309 non-TB patients) were included in the study. The sputum samples from the participants were detected by smear microscopy, PhaB, and Löwenstein-Jensen (L-J) culture method, respectively.


The overall sensitivity of PhaB were higher than that of L-J culture and smear microscopy (p<0.05). The sensitivity of PhaB for detecting smear-negative specimens was obviously higher than that of L-J culture (p<0.05). Compared with L-J culture, the overall sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, ACC and Kappa value of PhaB were 98.4 (95% Cl: 96.9-99.3), 71.6 (95% Cl: 68.4-74.6), 67.7, 98.7, 81.7% and 0.643, respectively. The detection median time of PhaB only needed 48 hours, which was significantly less than that (31 days) of L-J culture method.


PhaB method is a rapid and sensitive method for detecting TB in sputum in PTB patients; especially for the diagnosis of smear-negative PTB, PhaB method is obviously more sensitive than L-J culture method.

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