Research Article

Evaluation of a serological test for tuberculosis.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 28 May 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1383
  1. D A Mitchison,
  2. V R Aber,
  3. F J Ahmad,
  4. B W Allen,
  5. S Devi


    The agglutination test of Nicholls was found to be ineffective in diagnosing active tuberculosis. A positive result (titre of 1/125 or more) was found in the serum of 74 (70%) out of 105 patients with newly diagnosed, smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis; 61 (62%) out of 98 healthy family contacts; and 19 (63%) out of 30 patients with non-tuberculous conditions. These findings were not due to faulty technique since the results obtained at Hammersmith were similar to those obtained by Nicholls's laboratory in the same serum samples. Twenty-seven of the tuberculous patients who had a negative result before treatment were retested two months after the start of chemotherapy but showed no evidence of a rising titre.