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When smear and molecular diagnostics fail: identification of tuberculosis in advanced HIV infection using the newly developed urine lipoarabinomannan lateral-flow assay


In HIV infection, progression of immunodeficiency is associated with increased risk of paucibacillary and disseminated forms of tuberculosis (TB). As a result, the clinical presentation may be atypical and the conventional diagnostic assays often unreliable, resulting in significant treatment delays. Here, we report a case of HIV-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome and TB meningitis. Although the smear and molecular assays were negative, Mycobacterium tuberculosis was identified in our patient using the new Determine-lipoarabinomannan (LAM) lateral-flow urine ‘dip-stick’ assay. This case report illustrates the clinical value of this assay for the diagnosis of TB in a subgroup of HIV-infected patients with advanced immunodeficiency. Also, although two recent studies have evaluated the use of the Determine TB-LAM assay in clinical settings, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of TB diagnosed using this novel assay.

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