Liquid culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis: proceed, but with caution

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009 Sep;13(9):1051-3.


Attempts to improve the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) in high-burden countries has resulted in significant funding and initiatives to change the method of diagnosis of TB from light microscopy supplemented with X-ray to a sophisticated diagnostic algorithm based on the latest technological innovations. Such activities are overdue and should be welcomed, but the lack of skills and support available to interpret and use the results represents a danger. The introduction of new diagnostic methods, particularly liquid culture, should be carefully structured according to the local situation, failing which frustration and the disruption of previously underdeveloped but adequately functioning laboratories may result.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriological Techniques* / standards
  • Diagnostic Errors / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / growth & development
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology