Home » Frequently asked Questions on Health » Is AFB a confirmatory test for tuberculosis?

Is AFB a confirmatory test for tuberculosis?

Q: I have been diagnosed for active TB based on the positive sputum AFB test. Though my blood ESR is 13 mm/hr, and I do not have any other symptoms of TB, so is AFB a final confirmatory test for active TB? Is the AFB test positive in case of latent TB?

A:You say that the diagnosis of TB in your case is on the basis of AFB smear alone. This is never the case. The diagnosis of TB is done in conjunction with clinical presentation (history of symptoms), detailed physical examination (to elicit the signs) along with relevant investigations. Your doctor would have suspected TB based on your symptoms, hence the test for AFB smear. The quality of the report depends on the laboratory from where the test is done and whether they are accredited, follow quality control procedures and other internationally recommended protocols. In your case, a 2 weeks history of symptoms (details not mentioned) is usually not enough, and absence of other symptoms (as you say) warrants a second opinion. You have also not mentioned the grading of the smear, since positive smears are quantified according to the number of bacilli seen per oil immersion field. AFB smear is not positive in latent TB. An x-ray chest would confirm the diagnosis if classic x-ray shadows are found. Other investigations for confirmation / ruling out TB can include Mantoux test, Quantiferron TB gold, and AFB culture.


................... Advertisement ...................




Using 0 of 1024 Possible characters
Choose Topic

Latest stories

Woman Gives Birth To 'Miracle Twins' Naturally, Discharges Self Hours Later

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:30:15 IST
Apparently she had no idea that she was giving birth to twins and then the natural delivery of the kids made the doctors describe it as "miraculous". The kids are joined at the abdomen and share an umbilical cord. Doctors say that they "desperately need surgery".

Shocking Rise In Premature Baby Deaths, Reveals Study

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:33:03 IST
There has been a tremendous rise in the number of neonatal deaths in connection with premature births and babies with low-birthweight over the period of past 15 years even though the country has witnessed decline in early deaths from infections, according to health officials.

Hyderabad: Senior Doctor Attacked At Gandhi Hospital, 250 Juniors Boycott Duties

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:30:47 IST
Doctors tried to save him but he succumbed to the attack, post which, his family attacked the doctors saying that they did not pay much attention to the patient.

Woman Revived After 30 Minutes Of Death!

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:30:16 IST
She suffered a cardiac arrest just before the surgery began and it was no less than a miracle when the doctors were able to revive her 30 minutes after she suffered a cardiac arrest.

Regional Cancer Centre Gets Clean Chit From Government-Appointed Panel

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:30:13 IST
Kerala Joint DME Sreekumari's team has given a clean-chit to the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) with respect to the allegations that a 9-year-old girl patient who was admitted to the RCC, was given HIV-infected blood.