Abstract Background Undiagnosed tuberculosis (TB) patients hospitalized because of comorbidities constitute a challenge to TB control in hospitals. We aimed to assess the impact of introducing highly sensitive fluorescent microscopy for examining sputum smear to replace conventional microscopy under a high TB risk setting. Methods We measured the impact of switch to fluorescent microscopy on the smear detection rate of culture-confirmed pulmonary TB, timing of respiratory isolation, and total non-isolated infectious person-days in hospital at a high-caseload medical center (approximately 400 TB cases annually) in Taipei. Multivariable Cox regression was applied to adjust for effects of covariates. The effect attributable to the improved smear detection rate was determined using causal mediation analysis.

 

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