Table. 4—

Costs of potential screening tests for active tuberculosis (TB)#

Cost componentsRadiologicalMicrobiologicalAmplificationImmunological
Chest radiographInductionSmearCulturePCRTSTCell-mediated immune testsSerology
Capital costs$500000 for radiography unitRoom $15000 or booth $5000; nebuliser $1200$5000 for light microscope$65000 for Bactec unit (Becton, Dickinson and Co., Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA)$5000–10000 for PCR unitNone$149000$50000–100000 for light reader
Overall cost per test+$22$25$13$25$75$7$35–270$8–10
Time to result1 h15 min1 h3–8 weeks4 h2–3 days1–2 days1 h
  • TST: tuberculin skin test. #: all costs in Canadian dollars; : tests of cell-mediated immunity range from Quantiferon© (Cellestis International, Carnegie, Australia), the simplest and only commercially available test, to tests performed in research laboratories, which performed lymphocyte separation, in vitro culture with stimulation, and detection using RT-PCR; +: overall cost includes material and labour, but does not incorporate depreciation on capital or other overhead costs; §: complexity scored from 1) very simple, requires little training to 5) very complex, requires sophisticated equipment and highly trained technicians.