Global Health Observatory (GHO)

What services are there to diagnose TB?

Situation in 2012

Laboratory capacity to conduct high-quality sputum smear microscopy requires significant strengthening. Only only 14 of the 22 high TB burden countries met the target of having 1 microscopy centre per 100 000 population in 2012.

Globally, laboratory capacity to perform drug susceptibility testing continues to be low and is not growing quickly enough to ensure that TB patients with MDR-TB are promptly diagnosed.

Among the 27 countries with a high burden of MDR-TB, 14 did not have the recommended capacity of 1 laboratory to perform culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST) per 5 million population in 2012.

Xpert MTB/RIF, a new rapid molecular test that can diagnose TB and rifampicin-resistant TB within hours, is being rapidly adopted by countries. Between its endorsement by WHO in December 2010 and the end of June 2013, 1402 GeneXpert machines and 3.2 million Xpert MTB/RIF cartridges had been procured by 88 of the 145 countries eligible for concessional prices.