Comparison of scanty AFB smears against culture in an area with high HIV prevalence

L Lawson, M A Yassin, A Ramsay, N E Emenyonu, S B Squire, L E Cuevas

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23 Citations (Scopus)


To verify among tuberculosis (TB) suspects attending hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria, if sputum smears graded as scanty are false-positive, sputum smears from 1068 patients were graded with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease classification. One specimen was cultured. Eight hundred and twenty-four (26%) smears were positive, 137 (4%) scanty and 2243 negative. Of 1068 cultures, 680 (64%) were positive. One hundred and thirty (95%) scanty and 809 (98%) positive smears were culture-positive. Twelve of 18 patients with a single scanty smear and 51 of 52 with > or = 2 scanty smears were culture-positive. Fewer than < 5% scanty results, < 1% of the patients treated for TB, are false-positive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-5
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • False Positive Reactions
  • HIV Infections/complications
  • Humans
  • Nigeria
  • Prevalence
  • Quality Control
  • Specimen Handling
  • Sputum/cytology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/diagnosis


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