Abstract 12.1.10



Evaluation of Thin Layer Agar for Rapid and Accurate Diagnosis of Turberculosis in a Resource-Limited Setting.




Umoh,N.O.1, Asuquo,A.E.2, Abia-Bassey,L.2, Asibong,U.E.3 & Pokam,T.B.4

1Directorate of Public Health, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health, Uyo, Nigeria.

2Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

3Department of Family Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria.

4Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.


Abstract: Lack of timely and accurate diagnosis constitutes formidable obstacles to tuberculosis (TB) control in Nigeria. The use of Thin Layer Agar (TLA) as an alternative rapid culture method for TB diagnosis was evaluated in Nigeria. Sputum specimens were decontaminated before inoculation onto Lowestein Jensen (LJ) slopes and quadrant TLA petri-plates containing 5mg/ml para-nitrobenzoic acid (PNB) in one compartment. Incubated TLA plates and LJ slopes were examined microscopically and macroscopically, respectively, at regular intervals for growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex. The mean time-to-detection of MTB complex on TLA and LJ media were 12 days and 32 days respectively. The sensitivity, overall accuracy, and negative predictive value (NPV) of TLA were 95.6%, 98.5% and 97.8% respectively, comparing favorably with the corresponding values of 92.1%, 97.2% and 95.9% for LJ. The specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) were 100% for both methods. TLA performed better than the conventional LJ culture in the yield, accuracy and speed of detection of MTB complex. The relative higher values of TLA alongside its lower cost implication in this study, suggest it may be a useful tool for rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis, especially in resource-limited settings.


Key words: Detection; Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nigeria; Thin Layer agar.


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