Improved laboratory safety by decontamination of unstained sputum smears for acid-fast microscopy.


Tubercle bacilli may survive in unstained heat-fixed sputum smears and may be an infection risk to laboratory staff. We compared the effectiveness of 1% and 5% sodium hypochlorite, 5% phenol, 2% glutaraldehyde, and 3.7% formalin in killing Mycobacterium tuberculosis present in smears prepared from 51 sputum samples. The smears were decontaminated by the… (More)