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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 222-227

OMNIgene SPUTUM: A good transport and decontaminating reagent for tuberculosis testing

1 Department of Bacteriology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research; West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
2 Department of Bacteriology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Dorothy Yeboah-Manu
Department of Bacteriology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research P. O. Box LG 581, Accra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmy.ijmy_102_18

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Background: Sputum culture is limited to centralized facilities. Thus, samples require transportation from peripheral laboratories to these facilities, compromising specimen quality since it is difficult to maintain cold chain. We evaluated OMNIgene SPUTUM Reagent (OMS) for transporting sputum samples for tuberculosis (TB) testing. The study was carried out at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research using sputa from Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and La General Hospital in Ghana. Methods: In a laboratory-based controlled experiment (CE), sputum contaminants were determined on blood agar before treatment with OMS and N-acetyl-L-cysteine-sodium hydroxide (NALC-NaOH). TB testing included smear microscopy, culture, and Xpert MTB/RIF. Afterward, two peripheral laboratories were trained to transport sputum samples with OMS without cold chain. Positivity, negativity, and contamination rates were compared between both methods using Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests. Cohen's Kappa was also used to determine agreements. Results: Among 104 sputum samples analyzed in the CE, 93 (89.4%) had bacterial growth on blood agar before decontamination, while 6 (5.8%) and 5 (4.8%) contaminated after NALC-NaOH and OMS treatment, respectively. Contamination was high with NALC-NaOH (12.8%) than OMS (4.3%) on Lowenstein–Jensen media (P < 0.001), but mycobacterial positivity was comparable: NALC-NaOH of 74.5% and OMS of 78.7%. Smear positivity after NALC-NaOH treatment was 89.4% and OMS was 75.9% (P = 0.491). All except one of the samples tested positive by Xpert MTB/RIF after both treatment. Sixteen samples were evaluated in the field experiment and 81.3% yielded positive culture, and no contamination on LJ was observed. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that OMS works well as a transport and decontaminating reagent of samples for TB testing.

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