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Is my wife suffering from tuberculosis?

Q: My 28 years old wife weighs 43 kg. She underwent ELISA for the detection of tuberculosis (TB) (Anti tuberculosis IgG ELISA 1.24 OD ratio, anti tuberculosis IgM ELISA 1.13 OD ratio and anti tuberculosis IgA ELISA 1.22 OD ratio). Positive IgG indicative of old or chronic infection, positive IgM indicative of recent / current infection and positive IgA indicative of recent / current infection. She has no cough or cold but has pain in lower abdomen. We consulted a doctor who told us that she is suffering from vaginal infection. Our family doctor has recommended ELISA test for TB. Is she suffering from tuberculosis?

A:Serology for tuberculosis (IgG, IgM, IgA tests on blood samples) has only supportive role in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. The cut-off value of these tests is not mentioned, so interpretation of these serological tests cannot be done based on the information provided. Urogenital and abdominal tuberculosis is not uncommon in the Indian context, but the diagnosis is done based on several factors- history of present illness, clinical features and laboratory tests. The specific diagnosis of tuberculosis is dependent on either culture of the bacteria from clinical material or histopathological demonstration. Ii is better that you consult a specialist experienced in the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis, so that the relevant investigations if necessary could be performed, and a definitive diagnosis reached.

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