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Combining PCR with microscopy to reduce costs of laboratory diagnosis of Buruli ulcer

By Yeboah-Manu D., Asante-Poku A., Asan-Ampah K., E. D. Ampadu and G. Pluschke


Abstract. The introduction of antibiotic therapy as first-line treatment of Buruli ulcer underlines the importance of laboratory confirmation of clinical diagnosis. Because smear microscopy has very limited sensitivity, the technically demanding and more expensive IS2404 diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become the main method for confirmation. By optimization of the release of mycobacteria from swab specimen and concentration of bacterial suspensions before smearing, we were able to improve the detection rate of acid-fast bacilli by microscopy after Ziehl-Neelsen staining. Compared with IS2404 PCR, which is the gold standard diagnostic method, the sensitivity and specificity of microscopy with 100 concentrated specimens were 58.4% and 95.7%, respectively. We subsequently evaluated a stepwise laboratory confirmation algorithm with detection of AFB as first-line method and IS2404 PCR performed only with those samples that were negative in microscopic analysis. This stepwise approach reduced unit cost by more than 50% to $5.41, and the total costs were reduced from $917 to $43

Publisher: 'American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene'
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.11-0362
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Provided by: edoc
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