1 December 2012
Mycobacterium tuberculosis , diagnosis, drug-resistant TB, culture, genotypic tools, phenotypic tools, MGIT, GenXpert, LPA, DALY, (Disability-adjusted life years), a health economics calculus is a means of measuring the ‘cost-effectiveness’ of a given health intervention that took into account morbidity, mortality and age for comparison and impact assessment
Tuberculosis takes a heavy toll of ∼5000 lives every day from the disease; responsible for the 86% of DALY burden. Despite having drugs to treat TB efficiently, we have failed to control the disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis has exploited it to their advantage evolving with multiple mutations making it resistant to first-line and second-line drugs. Most of the high-burden countries are low-medium income countries, their national TB program (NTP) still use sputum smear microscopy as the tool of diagnosis. Many new molecular tools are emerging, but confuse the larger TB clinical scientific community at the NTPs. Coherent information need to be disseminated, encouraging TB scientific community to generate evidences within NTPs assessing new tools through critical analyses in terms of value addition and cost benefit before considering rolling out in the program. It is also imperative that the scientific community need to have an open mind to use different tools in the right permutation and combination than being exclusive of one another. This article portrays an overview of the diagnostics landscape in 2012 with pros and cons of different tools to be able to generate a step-wise algorithm for optimal exploitation of the tools within available resources in each of the settings.