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Evaluation of Giant African Pouched Rats for Detection of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Patients from a High-Endemic Setting.

Reither, K., Jugheli, L., Glass, T. R., Sasamalo, M., Mhimbira, F. A., Weetjens, B. J., Cox, C., Edwards, T. L., Mulder, C., Beyene, N. W. and Mahoney, A. (2015) Evaluation of Giant African Pouched Rats for Detection of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Patients from a High-Endemic Setting. PloS one, 10 (10). e0135877. ISSN 1932-6203

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This study established evidence about the diagnostic performance of trained giant African pouched rats for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis in sputum of well-characterised patients with presumptive tuberculosis (TB) in a high-burden setting. The TB detection rats were evaluated using sputum samples of patients with presumptive TB enrolled in two prospective cohort studies in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The patients were characterised by sputum smear microscopy and culture, including subsequent antigen or molecular confirmation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and by clinical data at enrolment and for at least 5-months of follow-up to determine the reference standard. Seven trained giant African pouched rats were used for the detection of TB in the sputum samples after shipment to the APOPO project in Morogoro, Tanzania. Of 469 eligible patients, 109 (23.2%) were culture-positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 128 (27.3%) were non-TB controls with sustained recovery after 5 months without anti-TB treatment. The HIV prevalence was 46%. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the seven rats for the detection of culture-positive pulmonary tuberculosis was 0.72 (95% CI 0.66-0.78). An optimal threshold could be defined at ≥2 indications by rats in either sample with a corresponding sensitivity of 56.9% (95% CI 47.0-66.3), specificity of 80.5% (95% CI 72.5-86.9), positive and negative predictive value of 71.3% (95% CI 60.6-80.5) and 68.7% (95% CI 60.6-76.0), and an accuracy for TB diagnosis of 69.6%. The diagnostic performance was negatively influenced by low burden of bacilli, and independent of the HIV status. Giant African pouched rats have potential for detection of tuberculosis in sputum samples. However, the diagnostic performance characteristics of TB detection rats do not currently meet the requirements for high-priority, rapid sputum-based TB diagnostics as defined by the World Health Organization.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Pulmonary Tuberculosis, rats, Mycobacterium, tuberculosis, Tanzania
Subjects: Tuberculosis > Diagnosis
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Biomedical
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2015 06:20
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2015 06:20

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