Setting: The Amplicor Mycobacterium detection kit was evaluated for the diagnosis of active pulmonary mycobacterial infection using sputum.
Objective: To assess the clinical usefulness of the Amplicor Mycobacterium kit for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infection in the country of medium prevalence.
Design: All the patients were diagnosed with bacterial, histopathological, and clinical 'gold standard'. The sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing clinically active pulmonary tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare infections were evaluated comparing Amplicor results and clinical diagnosis.
Results: A total of 1088 sputum specimens were collected from 780 in and out patients. Mycobacteria were recovered from 339 specimens by culture. The sensitivity and specificity of conventional culture method for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis were 60.2% and 99.8% respectively based on the number of patients. The figures for Amplicor were 61.8% and 97.4% respectively. There was no statistical significant difference between these methods. In rapidity, the Amplicor was significantly superior to the microscopy method in sensitivity.
Conclusion: Patients with Amplicor positive and conventional negative result had mostly mycobacteria related diseases. The Amplicor positive result indicated mostly active mycobacterial infection and was clinically useful for rapid diagnosis.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.