The global tuberculosis epidemic, killing 2 million and adding 9 million new cases a year, remains a major public health concern. Low sensitivity of sputum smear and long time taking process for mycobacterium culture to be interpretable make them non effective tools in the current scenario. Declining quality of the smear examination in overburdened laboratories in HIVendemic countries like India makes acid-fast smears on sputum specimen as a relatively insensitive test for pulmonary tuberculosis in AIDS/ARC patients, which is another concern. None of the commercially available rapid tests are well enough to replace sputum smear microscopy, thus these tests have little or no role in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. Therefore, development of rapid and accurate new diagnostic tools is imperative.
: Sandeep Singh