Background: Tuberculosis (TB), one of the leading causes of death worldwide, is
difficult to diagnose based only on signs and symptoms. Methods for TB detection are continuously
being researched to design novel effective clinical tools for the diagnosis of TB.
Objective: This article reviews the methods to diagnose TB at the latent and active stages and
to recognize prospective TB diagnostic methods based on nanomaterials.
Method: The current methods for TB diagnosis were reviewed by evaluating their advantages
and disadvantages. Furthermore, the trends in TB detection using nanomaterials were discussed
regarding their performance capacity for clinical diagnostic applications.
Results: Current methods such as microscopy, culture, and tuberculin skin test are still being
employed to diagnose TB, however, a highly sensitive point of care tool without false results
is still needed. The utilization of nanomaterials to detect the specific TB biomarkers with high
sensitivity and specificity can provide a possible strategy to rapidly diagnose TB. Although it
is challenging for nanodiagnostic platforms to be assessed in clinical trials, active TB diagnosis
using nanomaterials is highly expected to achieve clinical significance for regular application.
In addition, aspects and future directions in developing the high-efficiency tools to diagnose
active TB using advanced nanomaterials are expounded.
Conclusion: This review suggests that nanomaterials have high potential as rapid, costeffective
tools to enhance the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for the accurate diagnosis,
treatment, and prevention of TB. Hence, portable nanobiosensors can be alternative effective
tests to be exploited globally after clinical trial execution.