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Smear Microscopy UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • The presumptive TB testing rate in the country increased from 1,352 per lakh population in 2022 to 1,710 per lakh population in 2023.

  • Even two years before the 2025 deadline that the government has set to “eliminate” TB in India, only 21% of presumptive TB testing in 2023 was upfront done using a rapid molecular diagnostic test.

  • According to the India TB Report 2024, which is yet to be made public, at 79%.

  • The vast majority of presumptive TB testing was still carried out using the 100-year old sputum smear microscopy, which has low sensitivity. 

  • Ironically, compared with 2022, there has actually been a marginal decrease  from 23% to 21% in the percentage of presumptive TB testing offered upfront using a molecular test in 2023.

Smear Microscopy 

  • Smear microscopy is a rapid and relatively simple technique used in laboratories to diagnose various infections and conditions

  • A biological sample is collected from the patient, depending on the suspected condition

  • This could be sputum (cough mucus) for diagnosing respiratory infections, vaginal fluid for Pap smears to detect cervical cancer, or a swab from a wound or sore.

  • The sample is thinly spread onto a glass slide, creating a smear. 

  • This allows for better visualization of cells or microorganisms under the microscope.

  • The smear is air-dried and then heat-fixed to ensure the cells or organisms adhere to the slide.

  • The smear is treated with specific dyes that bind to different components of cells or microorganisms. 

  • This staining process enhances contrast and makes them easier to identify under the microscope

  • Different stains are used depending on the suspected diagnosis. 

  • A Ziehl-Neelsen stain is used to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) bacteria, while a Papanicolaou stain (Pap stain) is used in Pap smears.

  • A trained technician examines the stained smear under a microscope to identify the presence, type, and quantity of cells or microorganisms.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Smear Microscopy UPSC NOTE
Smear Microscopy UPSC NOTE
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