Open Access Short Report

Evaluation of an immunochromatographic test for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in Madagascar

Al-habib O Said Toihir1, Vincent Richard2, Vaomalala Raharimanga2, Samuel H Andrianarisoa3, Gabriel M Ranjalahy4, Herimanana Ramarokoto1 and Voahangy Rasolofo1*

Author affiliations

1 Unité des Mycobactéries, Institut Pasteur, Antananarivo, Madagascar

2 Unité d'épidémiologie, Institut Pasteur, Antananarivo, Madagascar

3 Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS), Antananarivo, Madagascar

4 Programme National de Lutte contre la Tuberculose, Ministère de la Santé, Madagascar

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Citation and License

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:403  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-403

Published: 12 October 2011



To improve the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), more rapid diagnostic techniques such as antibody detection based on immunochromatographic methods were developed. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of the SD Rapid TB kit for the diagnosis of active TB with serums from patients and close contact controls in Antananarivo, Madagascar.


We conducted a population-based case-control study. The sera of 60 confirmed TB patients and 60 healthy contacts paired for sex and age were tested. The controls were healthy contacts who were exposed to TB but had no clinical or radiological evidence of TB. The SD Rapid TB kit was used with serum samples according to the instructions of the manufacturer. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and predictive values were calculated using culture on Lövenstein-Jensen media as "gold standard".

In this study, the sensitivity of the test was 55% and the specificity 90%. The positive predictive value and the negative predictive value were 84.61% and 66.66%, respectively, for diagnosis of pulmonary TB.


This study shows that the SD Rapid TB test is a simple and fast method. This test has a good specificity and could therefore help rule in TB if positive, but lacks adequate sensitivity.