What services are there to diagnose TB?
Situation in 2011
Laboratory capacity to conduct sputum smear microscopy still requires strengthening: only 15 of the 22 high TB burden countries met the target of having 1 microscopy centre per 100 000 population in 2011.
Substantial strengthening of laboratory capacity to detect drug-resistant TB is needed. Among the 36 countries with a high burden of TB and MDR-TB, 19 did not have the recommended capacity of 1 laboratory to perform culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST) per 5 million population in 2011.
Globally, second-line drug susceptibility testing was not available in 45 countries and territories.
The roll-out of Xpert MTB/RIF, a new rapid molecular test that can diagnose TB and rifampicin-resistant TB within hours, has been impressive. Between its endorsement by WHO in December 2010 and the end of June 2012, 1.1 million test cartridges were procured in 67 (46%) of the 145 countries eligible to purchase them at concessional prices.