Validation of sputum smear results in the Electronic TB Register for the management of tuberculosis, South Africa
Published Date:Oct 2013
Source:Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 17(10):1317-1321.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4615998
Funding:5 387 U51 PS000729-05/PS/NCHHSTP CDC HHS/United States
CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
PA PS07-006/PS/NCHHSTP CDC HHS/United States
The accuracy of tuberculosis (TB) surveillance systems is paramount in TB control. In South Africa, information from the laboratory is not directly linked to the Electronic TB Register (ETR).
To validate smear results recorded in the ETR with those recorded in the laboratory.
A retrospective evaluation was conducted among all sputum smear-positive TB patients recorded in the ETR during the fourth quarter of 2009 in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Of 1036 smear-positive patients recorded in the ETR, 683 (65.9%) had positive results recorded in the laboratory register. Only 364 (53.2%) had their smear results recorded in the ETR at the end of the intensive phase of treatment; of 326 (89.6%) recorded as converted to smear-negative, 224 (61.5%) were confirmed as smear-negative in the laboratory. Of 331 patients with end-of-treatment results in the ETR, 302 (91.2%) were recorded as cured, but only 105 (34.8%) were confirmed in the laboratory.
Over a third of TB patients registered as smear-positive in the ETR could not be confirmed based on laboratory results. Many patients did not have a laboratory record, lending to uncertainty as to the validity of the smear results and treatment outcomes recorded in the ETR.
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