The diagnostic accuracy of urine lipoarabinomannan test for tuberculosis screening in a South African correctional facility

PLoS One. 2015 May 26;10(5):e0127956. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127956. eCollection 2015.


Background: We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the urine lipoarabinomannan (LAM) antigen detection assay (Clearview TB-ELISA) to screen for tuberculosis in a South African correctional facility.

Methods: Between September 2009 and October 2010, male offenders were screened for tuberculosis (symptoms, chest radiograph, two spot sputum specimens for microscopy and culture), and urine tested for LAM. Sensitivity, specificity and predictive values of LAM were calculated using definite and probable tuberculosis combined as our gold standard.

Findings: 33/871 (3.8%) participants (26% HIV-positive) had tuberculosis. Amongst HIV-positive vs. HIV-negative offenders the sensitivity and specificity of LAM was 7.1% vs. 0% and 98.5% vs. 99.8% respectively.

Conclusion: Urine LAM ELISA has inadequate sensitivity for TB screening in this population.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / urine
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / urine*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / urine*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • lipoarabinomannan