Current Status and Progress of Specific Laboratory Examination Methods of Active Tuberculosis Infection Diagnosis

Xuyang Chen, Kan Wang, Hongying Li, Lixin Hong, Jinghua He

Abstract

Active tuberculosis infection is a major health concern in the world. Each year, millions of people die of tuberculosis, especially in third-world countries. Though the World Health Organization has recently reported the rate of mortality by this disease is declining by 3% yearly, active tuberculosis infection is still endangering human health seriously. In addition, there are many people who have a latent tuberculosis infection, and these people do not seek treatment because they have no clinical symptoms. It is true that current specific laboratory examination approaches are capable of diagnosing active tuberculosis infection promptly and accurately. But sensitivity and specificity of current diagnostic approaches are at a low level. However, the development of new nanomaterials allows more scientists to combine diagnostic methods with nanotechnology. Recently, a novel Nanodisk mass spectrometry method has been reported. Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific peptides are enriched using an antibody-conjugated nanodisk, allowing for rapid, quantitative detection of the serum-specific antigen for active tuberculosis infection. This method overcomes the shortcomings of poor sensitivity and long turnaround time associated with current diagnostic approaches. This review discusses the current status and progress of specific laboratory examination methods of active tuberculosis diagnosis and compares the newest diagnostic techniques.

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