Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dartmouth study reveals flaws in screening for TB; Cases in 3rd world HIV patients may go undetected

17.06.2005


New findings from a Dartmouth Medical School collaboration in Tanzania may alter assumptions about the diagnosis of tuberculosis in HIV-infected people, and prompt a major change in way TB testing is routinely done in the developing world.



Writing in the journal, "Clinical Infectious Diseases," researchers found that while the co-existence of HIV and TB is well-known, traditional screening methods for TB are allowing significant number of cases of subclinical, active tuberculosis to go undetected. In apparent response to the these findings, the international physicians’ group, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), has recommended that all HIV/AIDS patients receive the more sensitive and accurate TB culture test used in the Tanzania research project.

This latest research was reported by investigators in the DARDAR Health Study, a collaboration between Dartmouth Medical School and the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. C. Fordham von Reyn, MD, Chief of the Section of Infectious Disease and International Health at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, is the leader of the DARDAR project and author of the new study with Lillian Mtei MD, and other colleagues in Tanzania.


"Our study team found that when we used the same comprehensive diagnostic approach to tuberculosis available in industrialized countries 15% of HIV-infected patients in Tanzania had previously unrecognized active tuberculosis," von Reyn said. "These findings emphasize the importance of improving the availability of TB diagnostic tests in the developing world."

In the developing world, TB is the leading cause of death among people with HIV infection. Thus, diagnosis and proper treatment of TB is a critical component of HIV treatment in these regions. Unfortunately, HIV infection can actually make TB more difficult to diagnose, creating additional challenges for health workers.

The DARDAR team, working from their clinic in Tanzania, tested HIV-positive subjects with traditional skin testing for TB and physical exams, followed by chest x-rays and microscopic examination of sputum samples. They then preformed cultures of these samples, incubating them in a controlled lab environment a procedure used widely in the industrialized countries, but typically not available or recommended in resource poor countries . In 10 cases sputum culture was the only positive test. These patients with "subclinical" tuberculosis denied symptoms when they were first examined and had normal chest x-rays.

"…Previously undiagnosed tuberculosis was common, often asymptomatic, and difficult to detect on the basis of a single evaluation," the authors reported. In addition the authors noted that the HIV-infected patients with subclinical tuberculosis had a much better prognosis than previously observed, perhaps due to earlier diagnosis and treatment. Failure to diagnose an subclinical case of active TB and treat with standard multiple drug treatment could result in improper single drug treatment for latent TB, which has the potential to induce TB drug resistance.

The findings are important because existing standards for detection of TB rely on using cough as the indication for screening, with chest x-ray as the screening method. "Our study demonstrates that neither cough nor chest radiography would have identified the 10 subjects (in the study) with subclinical tuberculosis," write the authors.

In an accompanying editorial in the same issue, Dr. David L. Cohn said the findings serve "as a reminder of the complexity of tuberculosis in HIV-infected patients in high-burden countries. This study … presents a potential new challenge for the diagnosis of subtle tuberculosis in asymptomatic patients and it may have implications with regard to treatment decisions."

In the wake of the study, Médecins Sans Frontières issued an advisory from its South Africa office, urging patients to insist on the sputum culture test if traditional TB skin and X-ray tests come back negative.

Deborah Kimbell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dms.dartmouth.edu/dardar/index.shtml
http://www.dartmouth.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>