7.4 Bacteriological status

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    Bacteriological status refers to the detection of M. tuberculosis by smear, culture or molecular methods. The bacteriological status can be further sub-classified on the basis of drug sensitive and drug resistant cases.

    7.4.1 Detection of M. tuberculosis

    Every TB case should be classified into one of two categories:

    • Confirmed TB case: a case with a positive bacteriological result (microscopy, culture or molecular method).
    • Non-confirmed TB case: a case where investigations are negative (microscopy, culture or molecular method) and for whom a clinician prescribes anti-TB treatment.


    Confirmed TB cases are further sub-classified as:
    1. smear positive/negative/not done
    2. culture positive/negative/not done
    3. molecular test positive/negative/not done

    7.4.2 Strain sensitivity/resistance

    When possible, culture and DST should be done to determine if the strain presents resistance to some drugs:


    • Susceptible TB: the strain is not resistant to any first-line anti-TB drugs.


    • Drug-resistant TB:
      • Monodrug-resistant TB: resistance to one first-line anti-TB drug only;
      • Polydrug-resistant TB (PDR-TB): resistance to more than one first-line anti-TB drug, other than isoniazid and rifampicin;
      • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB): resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampicin;
      • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB): MDR-TB resistant to at least one fluoroquinolone and at least one second-line injectable drug (Km, Amk, Cm).


    Patients with DR-TB should be classified in the following manner:


    • Confirmed isoniazid resistance and rifampicin susceptible: resistance to isoniazid but not rifampicin. Resistance to first and second-line anti-TB drugs may be present.
    • Confirmed rifampicin resistant TB (RR-TB): resistance to rifampicin confirmed by phenotypic drug susceptibility test or line probe assay or Xpert MTB/RIF (isoniazid susceptible or unknown).
    • Confirmed MDR-TB: resistance to isoniazid and rifampicin, with or without resistance to first and second-line anti-TB drugs.
    • Confirmed XDR-TB: resistance to isoniazid and rifampicin, and to at least one fluoroquinolone, and one second-line injectable drug (Km, Amk, Cm).
    • Unconfirmed DR-TB: patients treated as DR-TB but without DST results (e.g. children who are contacts of a known case, patients with clinical failure and for whom no DST was available for some reason).