Laboratory Services in Tuberculosis Control
Part II: Microscopy WHO/TB/98.258
Document produced by the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme
Technical Units
Order Number    19302167   
Price    CHF    16.00 / US$    19.20 Developing countries:    CHF    11.20
English     1999        61   pages
Table of contents
Related Publications
Translation(s) available
An illustrated guide to microscopy as a simple, inexpensive, and reliable technique for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis and the monitoring of treatment progress and outcome. Addressed to programme managers and service administrators, the guide covers all the technical procedures and practical considerations needed for the efficient and accurate use of microscopy within the context of national control programmes. Particular attention is given to the use of standardized procedures that provide good results in low- and middle-income countries.
The guide, which can also be used for training, has ten concise chapters. The first provides a model plan for a peripheral microscopy laboratory, discusses the standard arrangement of equipment and materials, and outlines procedures for the care and maintenance of microscopes and balances. Subsequent chapters provide guidelines for the correct collection, storage, and transport of specimens and their safe handing during collection and smear preparation. An introduction to procedures for smear preparation is followed by an illustrated step-by-step guide to the do's and don'ts of acid-fast staining procedures, including both Ziehl-Neelsen and fluorochrome staining.
Smear examination procedures are covered in the next chapter, which introduces the components of the microscope, describes their correct use, and explains the systematic and standardized procedures needed to obtain excellence in microscopic examination. Particular emphasis is placed on common causes of errors and ways to avoid them. The remaining chapters cover the recording and reporting of results, and describe the components of a system for quality control in the microscopy laboratory.