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The CyScope® Fluorescence Microscope, a Reliable Tool for Tuberculosis Diagnosis in Resource-Limited Settings

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  • Faculty of Science, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon; Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon; Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Poor laboratory equipment and few human resources have made it difficult to implement microscopic diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) on a large scale basis worldwide. Three hundred sputum samples from patients in Cameroon were studied by using the CyScope®, a new light-emitting, diode-based, fluorescence microscope, to compare auramine-rhodamine fluorescence with the conventional Ziehl-Neelsen staining method. Five fluorescence protocols were tested to reduce manipulation time. Smear positivity for acid-fast bacilli with the Ziehl-Neelsen staining method was 27.7% (83 of 300) compared with 33.3% (100 of 300) with the fluorescent method. Staining time with the modified fluorescence protocol could be reduced from 21 minutes to 10 minutes. This study confirmed that the fluorescence staining method is more sensitive than the Ziehl-Neelsen staining method. It is suggested that the training of laboratory technicians on fluorescence microscopy should be scaled up for increased disease control.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Léopold G. Lehman, Faculty of Science, University of Douala, PO Box 2326, Douala, Cameroon. E-mail: lblehman@yahoo.fr

Financial support: This study was supported by the International Society for Health Research and Training, Douala, Cameroon.

Authors' addresses: Leopold G. Lehman, Faculty of Science, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon, E-mail: lblehman@yahoo.fr. Arlette L. Ngapmen Yamadji and Charles F. Bilong Bilong, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon, E-mails: arlette2007linda@yahoo.fr and bilong_bilong@yahoo.com. Françoise Ngo Sack, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon, E-mail: nsackmakak@yahoo.fr.

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