The background to and brief details of the investigation into the role of nucleic acid amplification (NAA) technology for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in the routine diagnostic setting of a developing country with a high incidence of HIV (Zambia) are presented. The technology was assessed at two different levels of the health care system, a specialist referral laboratory and a rural district hospital. A commercial kit and a low-cost 'in-house' polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were evaluated for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis from sputum specimens. Recommendations resulting from the investigation, a summary of the major findings, collaborators and key publications are also provided.
BRIEFING NOTES Issue No 000001 October 2001. TB Knowledge Programme, UK. 2 pp.