Anwar Kassim Al-Madhagi, Ahmed Alhadad, Khaled Almoyed, and Khaled Alrubasi
Department of microbiology
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health problem world-wide. About 8 to 10 million new cases and 2 to 3 million deaths are notified each year.( Kalafati - Tzimaka et al, 2008)(1).The spread of HIV/AIDS and emergence of multiple drug-resistant TB have
further contributed to the worsening impact of the disease (2). The incidence of tuberculosis is high in Yemen and remains a serious public health problem. Moreover, the appearance of multidrug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has increased the need for rapid diagnostic methods(3).
Although direct AFB microscopy and conventional Lowenstein Jensen (LJ) culture remain the cornerstone for the diagnosis of TB, the sensitivity of these traditional methods is quite low, especially in the samples containing small numbers of organisms (4).
There is a need for rapid, sensitive and accurate detection of these organisms in clinical specimens to hasten the administration of appropriate antimycobacterial therapy and prevent the spread of infection in the community. A variety of manual and automated systems have been developed specifically to reduce the time to detect and identify Mycobacteria (5).
The best liquid culture system, BACTEC 460 can detect mycobacterial growth within 14 days (6,7). However, due to the need to dispose of the radioactive materials, this system does not have broad application in Yemen. The manual Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (BBL MGIT) culture system was developed to overcome this problem, and many studies have shown its efficiency (8,9,10).
Later, the BACTEC MGIT 960 system, a fully automated, rapid, high-capacity, non-radiometric system, became