Current Diagnostics Tools of Tuberculosis: Challenges And Opportunities

Nsikak G. Etim1

Tatfeng Y. Mirabeau1

Olwayemisi A. Olorode1

Miriam U. Nwodo1

Sylvester C. Izah2,Email

1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Science, Niger Delta University Wilberforce Island Bayelsa State 560103, Nigeria.
2Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa 569101, Nigeria.

Abstract

Various diagnostic methods are employed to detect tuberculosis (TB). One of the most commonly used tools is the microscopic examination of sputum samples, utilizing acid-fast staining to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Chest X-rays are instrumental in identifying TB-related lung patterns while culturing sputum helps confirm the presence of the bacterium and guides drug susceptibility testing. Molecular tests, including Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and nucleic acid amplification, offer heightened sensitivity and the ability to detect drug resistance. Interferon-gamma release assays can effectively distinguish between latent TB and active disease, while Tuberculin Skin Tests can reveal exposure to TB. GeneXpert GeneXpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis/ rifampicin resistance (MTB/RIF) provides rapid diagnostic results and resistance testing, and emerging point-of-care tests aim to deliver swift bedside diagnoses. Advanced radiological imaging techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, play a crucial role in assessing the extent of TB, particularly in cases of extrapulmonary involvement, collectively offering a comprehensive diagnostic arsenal for TB detection and management. The study focused on the challenges and opportunities of the various diagnostic methods of TB. The study shows that each of the methods of diagnosis has its merits and demerits.  The study concludes by suggesting that efforts should continually focus on improving the accuracy of TB diagnostic methods, implementing cost-effective strategies, establishing robust quality control mechanisms, adopting a comprehensive diagnostic approach, and investing in ongoing research to address emerging challenges in TB diagnosis.

Current Diagnostics Tools of Tuberculosis: Challenges And Opportunities