A high-quality laboratory system that uses modern diagnostics is a prerequisite for the early, rapid and accurate detection of TB and drug resistance. Uptake of TB diagnostic technologies requires appropriate laboratory infrastructure, sufficient human resources and adequate policy reform at country level to enable their effective use in TB screening and diagnostic algorithms. WHO has established a structured, systematic process to rapidly review the evidence base for new TB diagnostics, ensuring that new tools meet the required performance standards.
36specialized laboratories members of WHO TB Supranational Reference Laboratory NetworkRead about the SRL Network
105countries have notified at least one case of XDR-TBXDR-TB FAQ
7mApproximately 7 million Xpert MTB/RIF cartridges procured annually in public sector at concessional pricingMore about Xpert MTB/RIF
News and events
In settings where laboratory testing has been traditionally organized by disease programme, the introduction of multidisease testing devices brings new opportunities for collaboration and integration, which can provide significant system efficiencies and cost savings, increase patient access, and ultimately improve quality of care.
A framework of indicators and targets has been launched measuring programmes' capacity to detect TB using new diagnostics, provide universal DST, and ensure the quality of testing under the End TB Strategy.
Tests based on the detection of mycobacterial lipoarabinomannan (LAM) antigen in urine have emerged as potential point-of-care tests for TB. WHO has issued recommendations on the use of a lateral flow LAM assay for the diagnosis and screening of active TB in people living with HIV.
Bridging the growing gap between diagnosis and treatment in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)
An unprecedented scale-up in test development and laboratory strengthening has been seen since 2009, when the World Health Assembly called for universal access to tuberculosis (TB) drug susceptibility testing (DST) and treatment of all patients with drug-resistant disease.
- WHO policies on diagnostics and laboratory strengthening
- WHO Framework of indicators and targets for laboratory strengthening
- Framework for implementing TB diagnostics
- High-priority target product profiles for new tuberculosis diagnostics
Policy guidance on the molecular second-line line-probe assay