WHO urges ban on TB blood tests

"Blood tests designed to detect active tuberculosis (TB) are inaccurate and should be banned, the World Health Organization has said. More than 2 million such tests are carried out annually, but the WHO says they are unethical and lead to misdiagnosis and the mistreatment of patients. The organisation’s review of these tuberculosis test kits says they give wrong results in around 50 percent of cases. The kits are mainly sold in the developing world. However, most of the 18 kits on the market are produced in Europe and North America."

Complete story is on the WHO Media Centre web site.

An estimated 9 million new cases of tuberculosis occur worldwide each year. WHO’s goal for tuberculosis (TB) control is to detect 70 percent of new, smear-positive TB cases. However, many cases go undetected (see http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.TBS.DTEC.ZS).

See also WHO’s Global TB control report 2010, which includes links to TB data files.