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Oral swabs with a rapid molecular diagnostic test for pulmonary tuberculosis in adults and children: a systematic review.

Church, E Chandler, Steingart, Karen, Cangelosi, Gerard A, Ruhwald, Morten, Kohli, Mikashmi and Shapiro, Adrienne E (2024) 'Oral swabs with a rapid molecular diagnostic test for pulmonary tuberculosis in adults and children: a systematic review.'. Lancet Global Health, Vol 12, Issue 1, e45-e54.

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Tuberculosis is a leading cause of infectious disease mortality worldwide, but diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis remains challenging. Oral swabs are a promising non-sputum alternative sample type for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. We aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of oral swabs to detect pulmonary tuberculosis in adults and children and suggest research implications. In this systematic review, we searched published and preprint studies from Jan 1, 2000, to July 5, 2022, from eight databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Science Citation Index, medRxiv, bioRxiv, Global Index Medicus, and Google Scholar). We included diagnostic accuracy studies including cross-sectional, cohort, and case-control studies in adults and children from which we could extract or derive sensitivity and specificity of oral swabs as a sample type for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis against a sputum microbiological (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] on sputum or culture) or composite reference standard. Of 550 reports identified by the search, we included 16 eligible reports (including 20 studies and 3083 participants) that reported diagnostic accuracy estimates on oral swabs for pulmonary tuberculosis. Sensitivity on oral swabs ranged from 36% (95% CI 26-48) to 91% (80-98) in adults and 5% (1-14) to 42% (23-63) in children. Across all studies, specificity ranged from 66% (95% CI 52-78) to 100% (97-100), with most studies reporting specificity of more than 90%. Meta-analysis was not performed because of sampling and testing heterogeneity. Sensitivity varies in both adults and children when diverse methods are used. Variability in sampling location, swab type, and type of NAAT used in accuracy studies limits comparison. Although data are suggestive that high accuracy is achievable using oral swabs with molecular testing, more research is needed to define optimal methods for using oral swabs as a specimen for tuberculosis detection. The current data suggest that tongue swabs and swab types that collect increased biomass might have increased sensitivity. We would recommend that future studies use these established methods to continue to refine sample processing to maximise sensitivity.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 220 Diagnosis. Prognosis
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 415 Tuberculosis in childhood
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2024 16:24
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2024 16:25


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