“Detection of tuberculosis in blood samples only possible in three centers throughout Nigeria”

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Professor Aderemi Kehinde, an expert on tuberculosis (TB), says Nigeria can only confirm TB by taking blood samples at three centers around the country, a situation that is hindering efforts to fight TB in Nigeria.

Professor Kehinde explained in his inaugural lecture entitled “Superbugs: The Known and Unknown” at the University of Ibadan that the causative agent of tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, can only be obtained from blood samples at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigerian Institute for. Medical Research and Zaria can be isolated.

In his opinion, the TB test commonly used in many hospitals is sputum smear microscopy, although the isolation of the TB pathogen from an infected blood sample is considered the definitive diagnosis of the infectious disease.

However, Professor Kehinde said the detection rate for tuberculosis, which affects parts of the body other than the lungs, is low with sputum smear microscopy.

He explained: “We need to set up a reliable and more functional laboratory – a Biolevel 2 laboratory. That requires a lot of infrastructure and resources. In Nigeria we have about three centers where we can isolate Mycobacterium tuberculosis: University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigerian Institute for Medical Research and Zaria.

“In other areas, we rely on the less sensitive laboratory methods to diagnose TB. The meaning of this is that some contagious people with TB go undiagnosed and the disease continues to spread throughout the community. Hence, achieving TB eradication is very difficult.

“The urgent need to build capacity for molecular epidemiological techniques of TB in the country cannot be overstated. This will improve TB diagnosis and treatment and help develop preventive strategies. “

For typhoid, Professor Kehinde said the Widal test is not reliable and cannot be used to accurately diagnose the condition.

In his opinion, “the hallmark of typhoid diagnosis is blood culture. The Widal test is not a correct test for typhoid because it is not sensitive enough and is not typhus specific. It can be positive for other febrile illnesses like malaria. So it is not diagnostic for typhoid. “

The Don said in the lecture that the hallmark of intervention against infectious diseases is prevention, and called for the provision of drinking water in the community and environmental rehabilitation, which is a priority for strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene.

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