INTRODUCTION: For a high quality level diagnosis, mycobacterium culture must comply with the pre-analytical and analytical conditions recommended by the WHO and the country National Tuberculosis Program (NTP). In this study, we determined whether temperature and duration of sputum storage were associated with culture contamination in Burkina Faso.
METHODS: Sputa were collected in 5 districts labs in Burkina Faso. Temperature and duration of sputum storage were recorded. After the collection, sputa were decontaminated using Petroff modified method, and the pellet was inoculated on LJ media and LJ media supply with 2% sodium pyruvate. Risk of culture contamination associated with temperature and duration of sputum storage was measured by Chi2 test and logistic regression.
RESULTS: Out of 404 specimens, 61% (246/404) were stored between 2 and 8°C, and 15% (61/404) were processed within three days. The global contamination rate was 24%, with only 8% for samples respecting WHO recommendations, up to 35% for others. Storage at room temperature was associated with a significantly higher risk of contamination compared to storage at 2-8°C (OR 2.24, p = 0.001, IC 95%).
CONCLUSION: The recommendations about the temperature and the duration of sputum storage before cultures are not completely respected. This leads to high contamination rate of mycobacterium culture. It will be necessary to take logistics measures in peripherals health services or to develop more selective medium for mycobacterium culture in low income countries.