Updated on 20 February 2013
According to Dr Sanjay Sarin, regional director, global health, central and south Asia Pacific, Becton Dickinson, "It was imperative to ban the serology-based tests, because of their highly variable performance characteristics. These, coupled with poor prescription practices cause preventable and needlessly high cost of care and misdiagnosis leading to poor patient outcomes and increased incidence of disease transmission."
Dr Ranjan K Nanda, scientist, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, opined that, "The tests are neither sensitive nor specific for TB diagnosis. Moreover these tests are not adequately validated using statistically accepted sample size. Due to the wrong diagnosis, heavy doses of antibiotics are prescribed to otherwise healthy subject that may lead to high hepatotoxicity and other adverse effects."
Dr Navin Dang, director, Dr Dang's Laboratory, cited the lack of education among the patients and the unawareness among the doctors as the primary cause. "The whole system is botched up 70 percent of the clients lack awareness. What astonishes me is the fact that, after MBBS, there is no mandatory certification examination for the doctors to practice," he added with a sense of disappointment.
Dr BR Das, president, research and innovation mentor, molecular pathology and clinical research services, SRL, said, "For TB, available serological assays fail to provide reliable diagnostic information. However, there is not much awareness about the flip side of this test for which it is being overused. Besides, the cost of these tests are also quite low which may be another reason for doctors preferring these tests."