Handbook on tuberculosis laboratory diagnostic methods in the European Union - Updated 2018

Technical guidance
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Handbook on tuberculosis laboratory diagnostic methods in the European Union – Updated 2018. Stockholm: ECDC; 2018.

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The aim of this handbook is to provide network members and other laboratories involved in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, with an agreed list of key diagnostic methods and their protocols in various areas of TB diagnosis, ranging from microbiological diagnosis of active TB to the diagnosis of latent TB infection.

Executive summary

​Tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Europe. High-quality laboratory diagnosis of TB is the basis for both individual patient treatment and surveillance.

This handbook offers a single source of reference by compiling all methods, with a strong focus on standard (reference) and evidence-based methods. In so doing, it will also contribute to the improvement of disease surveillance data for Europe.

The first version of this ECDC technical report, previously published as ‘Mastering the basics of TB control: Development of a handbook on TB diagnostic methods’ (Stockholm 2011) concerned the development of the handbook that was included as an annex. This report was revised and renamed ‘Handbook on TB laboratory diagnostic methods in the European Union’ in 2016 and further revised and renamed ‘Handbook on tuberculosis laboratory diagnostic methods in the European Union – Updated 2018’ with changes to Chapters 6.7 and 10.4 in 2018 as new scientific evidence became available.