Research Report

Effect of Bleach on the Diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis  

E.J. Uhunmwangho1 , A.O. Iyamu2 , B.O.  Eledo3, 4 , S.C.  Izah5
1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo state, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo state, Nigeria
3 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Madonna University, Elele, Nigeria
4 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa Bayelsa State Nigeria
5 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa state, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
Biological Evidence, 2018, Vol. 8, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/be.2018.08.0001
Received: 05 Mar., 2018    Accepted: 26 Mar., 2018    Published: 04 Apr., 2018
© 2018 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Uhunmwangho E.J., Iyamu A.O., Eledo B.O., and Izah S.C., 2018, Effect of bleach on the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Biological Evidence, 8(1): 1-5 (doi: 10.5376/be.2018.08.0001)


Direct smears microscopy for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) is one of the easily applied laboratory techniques for diagnosis of tuberculosis in most medical laboratories especially in developing countries. Bleach microscopy techniques has been assessed in different settings as a potential alternative for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. This study investigated the effect of bleach on the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a hospital (Direct Observation Therapy centre in Central Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria). Sixty (60) sputum samples were collected from individuals that showed symptom of tuberculosis which comprises of new and follow up cases among patients with age >15 regardless of gender. The sputa samples were analyzed by two techniques using direct smear microscopy and bleach commonly used in household. Result revealed that of the 60 sputum samples 32 (representing 53.3%) were positive to AFB (for direct microscopy techniques) and 32 were also positive to AFB when household bleach techniques were applied. Of the 32 positive result, 7 (21.9%) smears graded as + when direct microscopy techniques were applied appeared scanty and 10 (31.3%) graded as ++ were decreased to +. Furthermore, 15 (46.9%) smears graded as +++ decreased to ++. The bleach technique for the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis improves the field view. Hence there is need for more research on the use of bleach for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Bleach; Diagnosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Microscopy
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