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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2004 Feb;8(2):248-52.

Reduced detection by Ziehl-Neelsen method of acid-fast bacilli in sputum samples preserved in cetylpyridinium chloride solution.

Author information

1
Tuberculosis Research Centre (Indian Council of Medical Research), Chennai, India. selvakumarn@hotmail.com

Abstract

SETTING:

Twelve health facilities implementing the DOTS strategy, and the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC), Chennai, India.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the detection rates using Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) and auramine-phenol to stain acid-fast bacilli (AFB) in sputum samples stored in cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) solution.

METHODS:

Two smears were prepared from each of 988 sputum samples collected in CPC and randomly allocated, one to ZN and the other to auramine-phenol staining. All samples were processed for culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

RESULTS:

A significantly higher proportion of samples were negative using the ZN method compared to the auramine-phenol method (74.5% vs. 61.8%, McNamara's paired chi2 test; P < 0.001). Among 377 samples that were positive using auramine-phenol, 44% were negative using ZN. There were more culture-positive, smear-negative samples in ZN (52.7%) than in auramine-phenol (30%); the difference attained statistical significance (McNemar's paired chi2 test; P < 0.00004). Using ZN, of the 104 smears made immediately after collection, 52 were positive for AFB, of which only 35 (67.3%) were positive after storage in CPC; the reduction in the number of positive smears attained statistical significance (McNemar's paired chi2 test; P = 0.004).

CONCLUSION:

Detection of AFB in sputum samples preserved in CPC is significantly reduced using ZN staining.

PMID:
15139455
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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