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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 5972021, 4 pages
Research Article

Factors Associated with Missed Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Automated BACTEC MGIT 960 System

1National Center for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China
2State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Clinical Laboratory, Guangzhou Chest Hospital, Guangzhou, China
3Changping Tuberculosis Dispensary, Beijing, China

Received 19 July 2016; Accepted 3 November 2016

Academic Editor: Marcela I. Henao-Tamayo

Copyright © 2016 Yu Pang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite the demonstration of excellent performance, mycobacterial growth in BACTEC MGIT 960 can go undetected. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of “false-negative” culture sample in Beijing and the potential factors associated with the detection failures by MGIT 960. Of the 577 sputum samples tested, 141 (24.4%) were culture-positive for mycobacteria, of which 133 (94.3%) were automatically determined by MGIT 960 system and 8 (5.7%) were positive for visual growth (false negative by MGIT). Statistical analysis showed that positive grade of specimen had no influence on the false-negative rate by MGIT 960 system (, ). In addition, the mean time to detection (TTD) was 241.4 (range: 224–261) hours for false-negative group and 186.8 (range: 173–199) hours for positive group. The difference in TTD between false-negative and positive groups was statistically significant (). In conclusion, our data demonstrate that the automatic MGIT missed a small portion of bacteriological mycobacterial patients. In addition, the poor growth rate rather than the low grade of AFB smear is associated with the detection failure by MGIT. Our findings highlight the notion that manual inspection for all instrument-negative MGIT tubes will bring about considerable benefit to patients and clinicians.