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Diagnostic Accuracy and Turnaround Time of the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay in Routine Clinical Practice  [PDF]
Nakwon Kwak, Sun Mi Choi, Jinwoo Lee, Young Sik Park, Chang-Hoon Lee, Sang-Min Lee, Chul-Gyu Yoo, Young Whan Kim, Sung Koo Han, Jae-Joon Yim
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077456
Abstract: The Xpert MTB/RIF assay was introduced for timely and accurate detection of tuberculosis (TB). The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy and turnaround time (TAT) of Xpert MTB/RIF assay in clinical practice in South Korea. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients in whom Xpert MTB/RIF assay using sputum were requested. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and detection of rifampicin resistance were calculated. In addition, TAT of Xpert MTB/RIF assay was compared with those of other tests. Total 681 patients in whom Xpert MTB/RIF assay was requested were included in the analysis. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of Xpert MTB/RIF assay for diagnosis of PTB were 79.5% (124/156), 100.0% (505/505), 100.0% (124/124) and 94.0% (505/537), respectively. Those for the detection of rifampicin resistance were 57.1% (8/14), 100.0% (113/113), 100.0% (8/8) and 94.9% (113/119), respectively. The median TAT of Xpert MTB/RIF assay to the report of results and results confirmed by physicians in outpatient settings were 0 (0–1) and 6 (3–7) days, respectively. Median time to treatment after initial evaluation was 7 (4–9) days in patients with Xpert MTB/RIF assay, but was 21 (7–33.5) days in patients without Xpert MTB/RIF assay. Xpert MTB/RIF assay showed acceptable sensitivity and excellent specificity for the diagnosis of PTB and detection of rifampicin resistance in areas with intermediate TB burden. Additionally, the assay decreased time to the initiation of anti-TB drugs through shorter TAT.
Comparison of Quantitative Techniques including Xpert MTB/RIF to Evaluate Mycobacterial Burden  [PDF]
Richard N. van Zyl-Smit, Anke Binder, Richard Meldau, Hridesh Mishra, Patricia L. Semple, Grant Theron, Jonathan Peter, Andrew Whitelaw, Suren K. Sharma, Robin Warren, Eric D. Bateman, Keertan Dheda
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028815
Abstract: Introduction Accurate quantification of mycobacterial load is important for the evaluation of patient infectiousness, disease severity and monitoring treatment response in human and in-vitro laboratory models of disease. We hypothesized that newer techniques would perform as well as solid media culture to quantify mycobacterial burden in laboratory specimens. Methods We compared the turn-around-time, detection-threshold, dynamic range, reproducibility, relative discriminative ability, of 4 mycobacterial load determination techniques: automated liquid culture (BACTEC-MGIT-960), [3H]-uracil incorporation assays, luciferase-reporter construct bioluminescence, and quantitative PCR(Xpert -MTB/RIF) using serial dilutions of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37RV. Mycobacterial colony-forming-units(CFU) using 7H10-Middlebrook solid media served as the reference standard. Results All 4 assays correlated well with the reference standard, however, bioluminescence and uracil assays had a detection threshold ≥1×103 organisms. By contrast, BACTEC-MGIT-960 liquid culture, although only providing results in days, was user-friendly, had the lowest detection threshold (<10 organisms), the greatest discriminative ability (1 vs. 10 organisms; p = 0.02), and the best reproducibility (coefficient of variance of 2% vs. 38% compared to uracil incorporation; p = 0.02). Xpert-MTB/RIF correlated well with mycobacterial load, had a rapid turn-around-time (<2 hours), was user friendly, but had a detection limit of ~100 organisms. Conclusions Choosing a technique to quantify mycobacterial burden for laboratory or clinical research depends on availability of resources and the question being addressed. Automated liquid culture has good discriminative ability and low detection threshold but results are only obtained in days. Xpert MTB/RIF provides rapid quantification of mycobacterial burden, but has a poorer discrimination and detection threshold.
Rapid and Accurate Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Sputum Samples by Cepheid Xpert MTB/RIF Assay—A Clinical Validation Study  [PDF]
Andrea Rachow, Alimuddin Zumla, Norbert Heinrich, Gabriel Rojas-Ponce, Bariki Mtafya, Klaus Reither, Elias N. Ntinginya, Justin O'Grady, Jim Huggett, Keertan Dheda, Catharina Boehme, Mark Perkins, Elmar Saathoff, Michael Hoelscher
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020458
Abstract: Background A crucial impediment to global tuberculosis control is the lack of an accurate, rapid diagnostic test for detection of patients with active TB. A new, rapid diagnostic method, (Cepheid) Xpert MTB/RIF Assay, is an automated sample preparation and real-time PCR instrument, which was shown to have good potential as an alternative to current reference standard sputum microscopy and culture. Methods We performed a clinical validation study on diagnostic accuracy of the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay in a TB and HIV endemic setting. Sputum samples from 292 consecutively enrolled adults from Mbeya, Tanzania, with suspected TB were subject to analysis by the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay. The diagnostic performance of Xpert MTB/RIF Assay was compared to standard sputum smear microscopy and culture. Confirmed Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a positive culture was used as a reference standard for TB diagnosis. Results Xpert MTB/RIF Assay achieved 88.4% (95%CI = 78.4% to 94.9%) sensitivity among patients with a positive culture and 99% (95%CI = 94.7% to 100.0%) specificity in patients who had no TB. HIV status did not affect test performance in 172 HIV-infected patients (58.9% of all participants). Seven additional cases (9.1% of 77) were detected by Xpert MTB/RIF Assay among the group of patients with clinical TB who were culture negative. Within 45 sputum samples which grew non-tuberculous mycobacteria the assay's specificity was 97.8% (95%CI = 88.2% to 99.9%). Conclusions The Xpert MTB/RIF Assay is a highly sensitive, specific and rapid method for diagnosing TB which has potential to complement the current reference standard of TB diagnostics and increase its overall sensitivity. Its usefulness in detecting sputum smear and culture negative patients needs further study. Further evaluation in high burden TB and HIV areas under programmatic health care settings to ascertain applicability, cost-effectiveness, robustness and local acceptance are required.
Evaluation of Xpert MTB/RIF and MODS assay for the diagnosis of pediatric tuberculosis  [cached]
Nhu Nguyen Thi Quynh,Ha Dang Thi Minh,Anh Nguyen,Thu Do Dang Anh
BMC Infectious Diseases , 2013, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-31
Abstract: Background Tuberculosis (TB) in children is rarely confirmed due to the lack of effective diagnostic tools; only 10 to 15% of pediatric TB is smear positive due to paucibacillary samples and the difficulty of obtaining high-quality specimens from children. We evaluate here the accuracy of Xpert MTB/RIF in comparison with the Micoroscopic observation drug susceptibility (MODS) assay for diagnosis of TB in children using samples stored during a previously reported evaluation of the MODS assay. Methods Ninety-six eligible children presenting with suspected TB were recruited consecutively at Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City Viet Nam between May to December 2008 and tested by Ziehl-Neelsen smear, MODS and Mycobacterial growth Indicator (MGIT, Becton Dickinson) culture. All samples sent by the treating clinician for testing were included in the analysis. An aliquot of processed sample deposit was stored at 20°C and tested in the present study by Xpert MTB/RIF test. 183 samples from 73 children were available for analysis by Xpert. Accuracy measures of MODS and Xpert were summarized. Results The sensitivity (%) in detecting children with a clinical diagnosis of TB for smear, MODS and Xpert were 37.9 [95% CI 25.5; 51.6], 51.7 [38.2; 65.0] and 50.0 [36.6; 63.4], respectively (per patient analysis). Xpert was significantly more sensitive than smear (P=0.046). Testing of additional samples did not increase case detection for MODS while testing of a second sputum sample by Xpert detected only two additional cases. The positive and negative predictive values (%) of Xpert were 100.0 [88.0; 100.0] and 34.1 [20.5; 49.9], respectively, while those of MODS were 96.8 [83.3; 99.9] and 33.3 [19.6; 49.5]. Conclusion MODS culture and Xpert MTB/RIF test have similar sensitivities for the detection of pediatric TB. Xpert MTB RIF is able to detect tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance within two hours. MODS allows isolation of cultures for further drug susceptibility testing but requires approximately one week to become positive. Testing of multiple samples by xpert detected only two additional cases and the benefits must be considered against costs in each setting. Further research is required to evaluate the optimal integration of Xpert into pediatric testing algorithms.
Diagnostic Accuracy of Quantitative PCR (Xpert MTB/RIF) for Tuberculous Meningitis in a High Burden Setting: A Prospective Study  [PDF]
Vinod B. Patel ,Grant Theron,Laura Lenders,Brian Matinyena,Cathy Connolly,Ravesh Singh,Yacoob Coovadia,Thumbi Ndung'u,Keertan Dheda
PLOS Medicine , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001536
Abstract: Background Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is difficult to diagnose promptly. The utility of the Xpert MTB/RIF test for the diagnosis of TBM remains unclear, and the effect of host- and sample-related factors on test performance is unknown. This study sought to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of Xpert MTB/RIF for the diagnosis of TBM. Methods and Findings 235 South-African patients with a meningeal-like illness were categorised as having definite (culture or Amplicor PCR positive), probable (anti-TBM treatment initiated but microbiological confirmation lacking), or non-TBM. Xpert MTB/RIF accuracy was evaluated using 1 ml of uncentrifuged and, when available, 3 ml of centrifuged cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). To evaluate the incremental value of MTB/RIF over a clinically based diagnosis, test accuracy was compared to a clinical score (CS) derived using basic clinical and laboratory information. Of 204 evaluable patients (of whom 87% were HIV-infected), 59 had definite TBM, 64 probable TBM, and 81 non-TBM. Overall sensitivity and specificity (95% CI) were 62% (48%–75%) and 95% (87%–99%), respectively. The sensitivity of Xpert MTB/RIF was significantly better than that of smear microscopy (62% versus 12%; p = 0.001) and significantly better than that of the CS (62% versus 30%; p = 0.001; C statistic 85% [79%–92%]). Xpert MTB/RIF sensitivity was higher when centrifuged versus uncentrifuged samples were used (82% [62%–94%] versus 47% [31%–61%]; p = 0.004). The combination of CS and Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert MTB/RIF performed if CS<8) performed as well as Xpert MTB/RIF alone but with a ~10% reduction in test usage. This overall pattern of results remained unchanged when the definite and probable TBM groups were combined. Xpert MTB/RIF was not useful in identifying TBM among HIV-uninfected individuals, although the sample was small. There was no evidence of PCR inhibition, and the limit of detection was ~80 colony forming units per millilitre. Study limitations included a predominantly HIV-infected cohort and the limited number of culture-positive CSF samples. Conclusions Xpert MTB/RIF may be a good rule-in test for the diagnosis of TBM in HIV-infected individuals from a tuberculosis-endemic setting, particularly when a centrifuged CSF pellet is used. Further studies are required to confirm these findings in different settings. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Population-Level Impact of Same-Day Microscopy and Xpert MTB/RIF for Tuberculosis Diagnosis in Africa  [PDF]
David W. Dowdy, J. Lucian Davis, Saskia den Boon, Nicholas D. Walter, Achilles Katamba, Adithya Cattamanchi
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070485
Abstract: Objective To compare the population-level impact of two World Health Organization-endorsed strategies for improving the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB): same-day microscopy and Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid, USA). Methods We created a compartmental transmission model of TB in a representative African community, fit to the regional incidence and mortality of TB and HIV. We compared the population-level reduction in TB burden over ten years achievable with implementation over two years of same-day microscopy, Xpert MTB/RIF testing, and the combination of both approaches. Findings Same-day microscopy averted an estimated 11.0% of TB incidence over ten years (95% uncertainty range, UR: 3.3%–22.5%), and prevented 11.8% of all TB deaths (95% UR: 7.7%–27.1%). Scaling up Xpert MTB/RIF to all centralized laboratories to achieve 75% population coverage had similar impact on incidence (9.3% reduction, 95% UR: 1.9%–21.5%) and greater effect on mortality (23.8% reduction, 95% UR: 8.6%–33.4%). Combining the two strategies (i.e., same-day microscopy plus Xpert MTB/RIF) generated synergistic effects: an 18.7% reduction in incidence (95% UR: 5.6%–39.2%) and 33.1% reduction in TB mortality (95% UR: 18.1%–50.2%). By the end of year ten, combining same-day microscopy and Xpert MTB/RIF could reduce annual TB mortality by 44% relative to the current standard of care. Conclusion Scaling up novel diagnostic tests for TB and optimizing existing ones are complementary strategies that, when combined, may have substantial impact on TB epidemics in Africa.
Screening for HIV-Associated Tuberculosis and Rifampicin Resistance before Antiretroviral Therapy Using the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay: A Prospective Study  [PDF]
Stephen D. Lawn ,Sophie V. Brooks,Katharina Kranzer,Mark P. Nicol,Andrew Whitelaw,Monica Vogt,Linda-Gail Bekker,Robin Wood
PLOS Medicine , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001067
Abstract: Background The World Health Organization has endorsed the Xpert MTB/RIF assay for investigation of patients suspected of having tuberculosis (TB). However, its utility for routine TB screening and detection of rifampicin resistance among HIV-infected patients with advanced immunodeficiency enrolling in antiretroviral therapy (ART) services is unknown. Methods and Findings Consecutive adult HIV-infected patients with no current TB diagnosis enrolling in an ART clinic in a South African township were recruited regardless of symptoms. They were clinically characterised and invited to provide two sputum samples at a single visit. The accuracy of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay for diagnosing TB and drug resistance was assessed in comparison with other tests, including fluorescence smear microscopy and automated liquid culture (gold standard) and drug susceptibility testing. Of 515 patients enrolled, 468 patients (median CD4 cell count, 171 cells/μl; interquartile range, 102–236) produced at least one sputum sample, yielding complete sets of results from 839 samples. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was cultured from 81 patients (TB prevalence, 17.3%). The overall sensitivity of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay for culture-positive TB was 73.3% (specificity, 99.2%) compared to 28.0% (specificity, 100%) using smear microscopy. All smear-positive, culture-positive disease was detected by Xpert MTB/RIF from a single sample (sensitivity, 100%), whereas the sensitivity for smear-negative, culture-positive TB was 43.4% from one sputum sample and 62.3% from two samples. Xpert correctly identified rifampicin resistance in all four cases of multidrug-resistant TB but incorrectly identified resistance in three other patients whose disease was confirmed to be drug sensitive by gene sequencing (specificity, 94.1%; positive predictive value, 57%). Conclusions In this population of individuals at high risk of TB, intensive screening using the Xpert MTB/RIF assay increased case detection by 45% compared with smear microscopy, strongly supporting replacement of microscopy for this indication. However, despite the ability of the assay to rapidly detect rifampicin-resistant disease, the specificity for drug-resistant TB was sub-optimal. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
A Prospective Study of the Prevalence of Tuberculosis and Bacteraemia in Bangladeshi Children with Severe Malnutrition and Pneumonia Including an Evaluation of Xpert MTB/RIF Assay  [PDF]
Mohammod Jobayer Chisti, Stephen M. Graham, Trevor Duke, Tahmeed Ahmed, Hasan Ashraf, Abu Syed Golam Faruque, Sophie La Vincente, Sayera Banu, Rubhana Raqib, Mohammed Abdus Salam
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093776
Abstract: Background Severe malnutrition is a risk factor for pneumonia due to a wide range of pathogens but aetiological data are limited and the role of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is uncertain. Methods We prospectively investigated severely malnourished young children (<5 years) with radiological pneumonia admitted over a 15-month period. Investigations included blood culture, sputa for microscopy and mycobacterial culture. Xpert MTB/RIF assay was introduced during the study. Study children were followed for 12 weeks following their discharge from the hospital. Results 405 eligible children were enrolled, with a median age of 10 months. Bacterial pathogens were isolated from blood culture in 18 (4.4%) children, of which 72% were Gram negatives. Tuberculosis was confirmed microbiologically in 7% (27/396) of children that provided sputum - 10 by culture, 21 by Xpert MTB/RIF assay, and 4 by both tests. The diagnostic yield from induced sputum was 6% compared to 3.5% from gastric aspirate. Sixty (16%) additional children had tuberculosis diagnosed clinically that was not microbiologically confirmed. Most confirmed tuberculosis cases did not have a positive contact history or positive tuberculin test. The sensitivity and specificity of Xpert MTB/RIF assay compared to culture was 67% (95% CI: 24–94) and 92% (95% CI: 87–95) respectively. Overall case-fatality rate was 17% and half of the deaths occurred in home following discharge from the hospital. Conclusion and Significance TB was common in severely malnourished Bangladeshi children with pneumonia. X-pert MTB/RIF assay provided higher case detection rate compared to sputum microscopy and culture. The high mortality among the study children underscores the need for further research aimed at improved case detection and management for better outcomes.
Time to Treatment and Patient Outcomes among TB Suspects Screened by a Single Point-of-Care Xpert MTB/RIF at a Primary Care Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa  [PDF]
Colleen F. Hanrahan, Katerina Selibas, Christopher B. Deery, Heather Dansey, Kate Clouse, Jean Bassett, Lesley Scott, Wendy Stevens, Ian Sanne, Annelies Van Rie
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065421
Abstract: Introduction In December 2010, the World Health Organization recommended a single Xpert MTB/RIF assay as the initial diagnostic in people suspected of HIV-associated or drug resistant tuberculosis. Few data are available on the impact of this recommendation on patient outcomes. We describe the diagnostic follow-up, clinical characteristics and outcomes of a cohort of tuberculosis suspects screened using a single point-of-care Xpert. Methods Consecutive tuberculosis suspects at a primary care clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa were assessed for tuberculosis using point-of-care Xpert. Sputum smear microscopy and liquid culture were performed as reference standards. Xpert-negatives were evaluated clinically, and further assessed at the discretion of clinicians. Participants were followed for six months. Results From July-September 2011, 641 tuberculosis suspects were enrolled, of whom 69% were HIV-infected. Eight percent were positive by a single Xpert. Among 116 individuals diagnosed with TB, 66 (57%) were Xpert negative, of which 44 (67%) were empirical or radiological diagnoses and 22 (33%) were Xpert negative/culture-positive. The median time to tuberculosis treatment was 0 days (IQR: 0–0) for Xpert positives, 14 days (IQR: 5–35) for those diagnosed empirically, 14 days (IQR: 7–29) for radiological diagnoses, and 144 days (IQR: 28–180) for culture positives. Xpert negative tuberculosis cases were clinically similar to Xpert positives, including HIV status and CD4 count, and had similar treatment outcomes including mortality and time to antiretroviral treatment initiation. Conclusions In a high HIV-burden setting, a single Xpert identified less than half of those started on tuberculosis treatment, highlighting the complexity of TB diagnosis even in the Xpert era. Xpert at point-of-care resulted in same day treatment initiation in Xpert-positives, but had no impact on tuberculosis treatment outcomes or mortality.
Optimal Triage Test Characteristics to Improve the Cost-Effectiveness of the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay for TB Diagnosis: A Decision Analysis  [PDF]
Anna H. van’t Hoog, Frank Cobelens, Anna Vassall, Sanne van Kampen, Susan E. Dorman, David Alland, Jerrold Ellner
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082786
Abstract: Background High costs are a limitation to scaling up the Xpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert) for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in resource-constrained settings. A triaging strategy in which a sensitive but not necessarily highly specific rapid test is used to select patients for Xpert may result in a more affordable diagnostic algorithm. To inform the selection and development of particular diagnostics as a triage test we explored combinations of sensitivity, specificity and cost at which a hypothetical triage test will improve affordability of the Xpert assay. Methods In a decision analytical model parameterized for Uganda, India and South Africa, we compared a diagnostic algorithm in which a cohort of patients with presumptive TB received Xpert to a triage algorithm whereby only those with a positive triage test were tested by Xpert. Findings A triage test with sensitivity equal to Xpert, 75% specificity, and costs of US$5 per patient tested reduced total diagnostic costs by 42% in the Uganda setting, and by 34% and 39% respectively in the India and South Africa settings. When exploring triage algorithms with lower sensitivity, the use of an example triage test with 95% sensitivity relative to Xpert, 75% specificity and test costs $5 resulted in similar cost reduction, and was cost-effective by the WHO willingness-to-pay threshold compared to Xpert for all in Uganda, but not in India and South Africa. The gain in affordability of the examined triage algorithms increased with decreasing prevalence of tuberculosis among the cohort. Conclusions A triage test strategy could potentially improve the affordability of Xpert for TB diagnosis, particularly in low-income countries and with enhanced case-finding. Tests and markers with lower accuracy than desired of a diagnostic test may fall within the ranges of sensitivity, specificity and cost required for triage tests and be developed as such.
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