Institution of appropriate airborne infection isolation (AII) precautions for patients with suspected Mycobacterium tuberculosis is critical to prevent disease transmission. We compared the yield of acid-fast bacilli smears from different types of respiratory specimens and found that smear sensitivity was highest for specimens obtained by endotracheal aspirates (92%), followed by sputum (79%), and then by bronchoalveolar lavage (37%). As a result of this study, our institutional policy regarding discontinuation of AII precautions was amended.
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Published online: September 20, 2014
Conflicts of interest: None to report.
© 2014 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.