This cross-sectional multi-centric study compared the yield of and potential benefit for detecting smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) by bleach sedimentation (2% sodium-hypochlorite) versus direct microscopy under programme conditions in India. Among 3168 PTB suspects, 684 (21.6%) were detected by bleach sedimentation vs. 625 (19.7%) by direct microscopy, with a proportional overall agreement of 96% ( 0.88). While 594 patients were smear-positive with both methods, 31 patients detected by direct microscopy were missed and an additional 90 patients were detected by bleach sedimentation. Overall, bleach sedimentation increased the yield of smear-positive TB detection; however; it also increased the time to results.
Vishnu, P.H.; Bhat, P.; Bansal, A.; Satyanarayana, S.; Alavadi, U.; Ohri, B.S.; Rao Shrinivas, M.S.; Desikan, P.; Jaju, J.; Rao, V.G.; Moonan, P.K. Is bleach-sedimented smear microscopy an alternative to direct microscopy under programme conditions in India? [Short communication]. Public Health Action (2013) 3 (1) 23-25. [DOI: 10.5588/pha.12.0100]