Unrecognised tuberculosis in HIV-infected patients: sputum culture is a useful tool

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2004 Jul;8(7):896-8.


Diagnosis of tuberculosis is challenging, especially in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive persons who may have atypical clinical and radiographic features. We report the isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from sputum samples of 10 (4%) HIV-positive persons who were asymptomatic with normal chest radiographs and negative sputum smears for acid-fast bacilli. Six of them had strongly positive tuberculin reactions while four were severely immunosuppressed. Our observation highlights the utility of routine sputum culture in the diagnosis of tuberculosis in high-risk individuals.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Sputum / cytology*
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / virology