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The Diagnostic Accuracy of Urine-Based Xpert MTB/RIF in HIV-Infected Hospitalized Patients Who Are Smear-Negative or Sputum Scarce  [PDF]
Jonathan G. Peter, Grant Theron, Tapuwa E. Muchinga, Ureshnie Govender, Keertan Dheda
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039966
Abstract: Background Hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa are inundated with HIV-infected patients and tuberculosis (TB) is the commonest opportunistic infection in this sub-group. Up to one third of TB-HIV co-infected patients fail to produce a sputum sample (sputum scarce) and diagnosis is thus often delayed or missed. We investigated the sensitivity of urine-based methods (Xpert MTB/RIF, LAM strip test and LAM ELISA) in such patients. Methodology/Principal Findings 281 HIV-infected hospitalised patients with clinically suspected TB provided a spot urine sample. The reference standard was culture positivity for Mycobacterium tuberculosis on ≥1 sputum or extra-pulmonary sample. MTB/RIF was performed using 1 ml of both unprocessed and, when possible, concentrated urine. Each unconcentrated urine sample was also tested using the Clearview LAM ELISA and Alere LAM strip test. 42% (116/242) of patients had culture-proven TB. 18% (20/54) were sputum scarce. In sputum-scarce patients, the sensitivity of urine MTB/RIF and LAM ELISA was 40% (95%CI: 22–61) and 60% (95%CI: 39–78), respectively. Urine MTB/RIF specificity was 98% (95%CI: 95–100). Combined sensitivity of urine LAM ELISA and MTB/RIF was better than MTB/RIF alone [MTB/RIF and LAM: 70% (95%CI: 48–85) vs. MTB/RIF: 40% (95%CI: 22–61), p = 0.03]. Significant predictors of urine MTB/RIF positivity were CD4<50 cells/ml (p = 0.001), elevated protein-to-creatinine ratio (p<0.001) and LAM ELISA positivity (p<0.001). Urine centrifugation and pelleting significantly increased the sensitivity of MTB/RIF over unprocessed urine in paired samples [42% (95%CI: 26–58) vs. 8% (95%CI: 0–16), p<0.001]. Urine MTB/RIF-generated CT values correlated poorly with markers of bacillary burden (smear grade and time-to-positivity). Conclusions/Significance This preliminary study indicates that urine-based MTB/RIF, alone or in combination with LAM antigen detection, may potentially aid the diagnosis of TB in HIV-infected patients with advanced immunosuppression when sputum-based diagnosis is not possible. Concentration of urine prior to MTB/RIF-testing significantly improves sensitivity.
Evaluation of Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF Test on Pleural Fluid in the Diagnosis of Pleural Tuberculosis in a High Prevalence HIV/TB Setting  [PDF]
John K. Lusiba, Lydia Nakiyingi, Bruce J. Kirenga, Agnes Kiragga, Robert Lukande, Maria Nsereko, Willy Ssengooba, Achilles Katamba, William Worodria, Moses L. Joloba, Harriet Mayanja-Kizza
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102702
Abstract: Background Diagnosis of pleural tuberculosis (TB) using routinely available diagnostic methods is challenging due to the paucibacillary nature of the disease. Histopathology and pleural tissue TB culture involves an invasive procedure which requires expertise and appropriate equipment, both often unavailable in many health units. Xpert MTB/Rif test has been widely evaluated in sputum specimens but data on its performance in pleural TB is scarce. We evaluated the accuracy of Cepheid's Xpert MTB/Rif test on pleural fluid in the diagnosis of pleural TB in Uganda. Methods Consenting adult patients with exudative pleural effusions underwent pleural biopsy and the tissue obtained subjected to Lowenstein-Jensen and mycobacterial growth indicator tube MTB cultures and histopathology. Pleural fluid for Xpert MTB/Rif testing was also collected. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, clinical symptoms, HIV status and CD4 count were also collected. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of Xpert MTB/Rif test on pleural fluid in pleural TB diagnosis were calculated using pleural tissue MTB culture and/or histopathology as the reference standard. Results Of the 116 participants [female 50%, mean age 34 (SD ±13], 87/116 (75%) had pleural TB confirmed on pleural tissue culture and/or histopathology. The Xpert MTB/Rif test identified 25 (28.7%) of the 87 confirmed pleural TB cases. The sensitivity and specificity of Xpert MTB/Rif test were 28.7% and 96.6% respectively while the positive and negative predictive values were 96.1% and 31.1% respectively. Conclusion Xpert MTB/Rif test on pleural fluid does not accurately diagnose pleural TB and therefore cannot be used as an initial evaluation test in patients with suspected pleural TB. New, rapid and accurate tests for the diagnosis of pleural TB are still warranted.
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.
Rapid Diagnosis of Tuberculosis with the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay in High Burden Countries: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis  [PDF]
Anna Vassall,Sanne van Kampen,Hojoon Sohn,Joy S. Michael,K. R. John,Saskia den Boon,J. Lucian Davis,Andrew Whitelaw,Mark P. Nicol,Maria Tarcela Gler,Anar Khaliqov,Carlos Zamudio,Mark D. Perkins,Catharina C. Boehme,Frank Cobelens
PLOS Medicine , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001120
Abstract: Background Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert) is a promising new rapid diagnostic technology for tuberculosis (TB) that has characteristics that suggest large-scale roll-out. However, because the test is expensive, there are concerns among TB program managers and policy makers regarding its affordability for low- and middle-income settings. Methods and Findings We estimate the impact of the introduction of Xpert on the costs and cost-effectiveness of TB care using decision analytic modelling, comparing the introduction of Xpert to a base case of smear microscopy and clinical diagnosis in India, South Africa, and Uganda. The introduction of Xpert increases TB case finding in all three settings; from 72%–85% to 95%–99% of the cohort of individuals with suspected TB, compared to the base case. Diagnostic costs (including the costs of testing all individuals with suspected TB) also increase: from US$28–US$49 to US$133–US$146 and US$137–US$151 per TB case detected when Xpert is used “in addition to” and “as a replacement of” smear microscopy, respectively. The incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for using Xpert “in addition to” smear microscopy, compared to the base case, range from US$41–$110 per disability adjusted life year (DALY) averted. Likewise the ICERS for using Xpert “as a replacement of” smear microscopy range from US$52–$138 per DALY averted. These ICERs are below the World Health Organization (WHO) willingness to pay threshold. Conclusions Our results suggest that Xpert is a cost-effective method of TB diagnosis, compared to a base case of smear microscopy and clinical diagnosis of smear-negative TB in low- and middle-income settings where, with its ability to substantially increase case finding, it has important potential for improving TB diagnosis and control. The extent of cost-effectiveness gain to TB programmes from deploying Xpert is primarily dependent on current TB diagnostic practices. Further work is required during scale-up to validate these findings. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
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 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.
Performance Characteristics of the Cepheid Xpert MTB/RIF Test in a Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey  [PDF]
Susan E. Dorman,Violet N. Chihota,James J. Lewis,Maunank Shah,David Clark,Alison D. Grant,Gavin J. Churchyard,Katherine L. Fielding
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043307
Abstract: Xpert MTB/RIF (“Xpert”) is a molecular test for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in sputum. Performance characteristics have been established for its use during passive tuberculosis (TB) case detection in symptomatic TB suspects, but Xpert performance has not been assessed in other settings. Objectives were to determine Xpert performance and costs in the context of a TB prevalence survey.
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.
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
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.
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