Performance of urine lipoarabinomannan assays for paediatric tuberculosis in Tanzania

Eur Respir J. 2015 Sep;46(3):761-70. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00003315. Epub 2015 Jun 25.


We evaluated the diagnostic performance of two tests based on the release of lipoarabinomannan (LAM) into the urine, the MTB-LAM-ELISA assay and the Determine TB-LAM-strip assay, in children with suspected tuberculosis (TB) in a high TB/HIV-prevalence setting.In a prospective study, 132 children with suspected active TB were assigned to diagnostic subgroups. Urine samples were subjected to testing by both assays to ascertain sensitivity and specificity. Host factors associated with positive LAM results were investigated and LAM excretion monitored after antituberculous treatment initiation.18 (13.6%) children had culture-confirmed pulmonary TB. The assays' sensitivity was higher in HIV-positive versus HIV-negative children: 70% (95% confidence interval 35-93%) versus 13% (0-53%) for MTB-LAM-ELISA and 50% (19-81%) versus 0% (0-37%) for Determine TB-LAM. In 35 (27%) children with excluded active TB, both assays showed a specificity of 97.1% (85-100%). Proteinuria and low body mass index were independently associated with LAM positivity. In most patients, LAM excretion declined to zero during or at conclusion of antituberculous treatment.HIV/TB co-infected children might benefit from LAM-based tests to aid early TB diagnosis and subsequent positive impact on morbidity and mortality. Using LAM as a rule-in and treatment-monitoring tool may also show further potential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / urine*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Developing Countries
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lipopolysaccharides / analysis
  • Lipopolysaccharides / urine*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Tanzania / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis / urine*
  • Urinalysis / methods


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • lipoarabinomannan