Evaluation of the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay for the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in a High HIV Prevalence Setting

Lung Infection and Immunity Unit, Division of Pulmonology and UCT Lung Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Impact Factor: 13). 04/2011; 184(1):132-40. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201101-0056OC
Source: PubMed


Xpert MTB/RIF is a novel automated molecular diagnostic recently endorsed by the World Health Organization. However, performance-related data from high HIV prevalence settings are limited.
The impact of sample-related factors on performance and the significance of Xpert MTB/RIF-positive culture-negative discordance remain unclear.
Xpert MTB/RIF was evaluated using single archived spot-sputum samples from 496 South African patients with suspected TB. Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture positivity and phenotypic resistance to rifampicin served as reference standards.
Overall, Xpert MTB/RIF detected 95% (95% confidence interval [CI], 88-98%; 89 of 94) of smear-positive culture-positive cases and the specificity was 94% (91-96%; 320 of 339). The sensitivity in smear-negative cases was 55% (35-73%; 12 of 22) when the analysis was restricted to 1 ml of unprocessed sputum and culture time-to-positivity of less than or equal to 28 days. Compared with smear microscopy (n=94), Xpert MTB/RIF detected an additional 17 cases (n=111) representing an 18% (11-27%; 111 vs. 94) relative increase in the rapid TB case detection rate. Moreover, compared with smear microscopy, the inclusion of Xpert MTB/RIF-positive culture-negative TB cases (ruled-in by an alternative diagnostic method) resulted in the detection of a further 16 cases (n=127), thus significantly increasing the rapid TB case detection rate to 35% (95% CI, 26-45%; 94 to 111 vs. 94 to 127; P<0.01), the overall specificity to 99.1% (97-100%; 320 of 323; P<0.001), and sensitivity in smear-negative TB to 60% (P=0.12). Performance strongly correlated with smear status and culture time-to-positivity. In patients infected with HIV compared with patients uninfected with HIV Xpert MTB/RIF showed a trend to reduced sensitivity (P=0.09) and significantly reduced negative predictive value (P=0.01). The negative predictive value for rifampicin resistance was 99.4%.
XpertMTB/RIF outperformed smear microscopy, established a diagnosis in a significant proportion of patients with smear-negative TB, detected many highly likely TB cases missed by culture, and accurately ruled out rifampicin-resistant TB. Sample-specific factors had limited impact on performance. Performance in patients infected with HIV, especially those with advanced immunosuppression, warrants further study.

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Available from: Hridesh Mishra
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    • "We performed Xpert on previously frozen processed sputum samples. However, previous studies showed that this is unlikely to produce different results from testing unprocessed samples [15]. Furthermore, we considered only one sputum samples in our analysis, which will have limited the sensitivity compared to testing two or more samples, including an early morning sample or in a frontloading system as generally recommended [31], [35], [36]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Low income, high-tuberculosis burden, countries are considering selective deployment of Xpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert) due to high cost per test. We compared the diagnostic gain of the Xpert add-on strategy with Xpert replacement strategy for pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosis among HIV-infected adults to inform its implementation. Methods The first diagnostic sputum sample of 424 HIV-infected adults (67% with CD4 counts ≤200/mm3) suspected for tuberculosis was tested by direct Ziehl-Neelsen (DZN) and direct fluorescent microscopy (DFM); concentrated fluorescent microscopy (CFM); Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) and Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) culture; and Xpert. Overall diagnostic yield and sensitivity were calculated using MGIT as reference comparator. The sensitivity of Xpert in an add-on strategy was calculated as the number of smear negative but Xpert positive participants among MGIT positive participants. Results A total of 123 (29.0%) participants were MGIT culture positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The sensitivity (95% confidence interval) was 31.7% (23.6–40.7%) for DZN, 35.0% (26.5–44.0%) for DFM, 43.9% (34.9–53.1%) for CFM, 76.4% (67.9–83.6) for Xpert and 81.3% (73.2–87.7%) for LJ culture. Add-on strategy Xpert showed an incremental sensitivity of 44.7% (35.7–53.9%) when added to DZN, 42.3% (33.4–51.5%) to DFM and 35.0% (26.5–44.0%) to CFM. This translated to an overall sensitivity of 76.4%, 77.3% and 79.0% for add-on strategies based on DZN, DFM and CFM, respectively, compared to 76.4% for Xpert done independently. From replacement to add-on strategy, the number of Xpert cartridges needed was reduced by approximately 10%. Conclusions Among HIV-infected TB suspects, doing smear microscopy prior to Xpert assay in add-on fashion only identifies a few additional TB cases.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Methods to further digest these proteins or the addition of a PCR-friendly blood lysis buffer may help to decrease error rates [31,32]. Interestingly, unlike in sputum and pleural samples, no correlation was found between Xpert MTB/RIF-generated CT-values and liquid culture time-to-positivity using PF [33]. However, the sensitivity of Xpert MTB/RIF was found to be significantly higher in HIV-positive versus negative patients, and this was due to the higher bacillary loads, as measure by liquid culture time-to-positivity (TTP), found in the PF of HIV-positive versus -negative TBP. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tuberculous pericarditis (TBP) is associated with high morbidity and mortality, and is an important treatable cause of heart failure in developing countries. Tuberculous aetiology of pericarditis is difficult to diagnose promptly. The utility of the new quantitative PCR test (Xpert MTB/RIF) for the diagnosis of TBP is unknown. This study sought to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the Xpert MTB/RIF test compared to pericardial adenosine deaminase (ADA) and unstimulated interferon-gamma (uIFNγ) in suspected TBP. From October 2009 through September 2012, 151 consecutive patients with suspected TBP were enrolled at a single centre in Cape Town, South Africa. Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture and/or pericardial histology served as the reference standard for definite TBP. Receiver-operating-characteristic curve analysis was used for selection of ADA and uIFNγ cut-points. Of the participants, 49% (74/151) were classified as definite TBP, 33% (50/151) as probable TBP and 18% (27/151) as non TBP. A total of 105 (74%) participants were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive. Xpert-MTB/RIF had a sensitivity and specificity (95% confidence interval (CI)) of 63.8% (52.4% to 75.1%) and 100% (85.6% to 100%), respectively. Concentration of pericardial fluid by centrifugation and using standard sample processing did not improve Xpert MTB/RIF accuracy. ADA (≥35 IU/L) and uIFNγ (≥44 pg/ml) both had a sensitivity of 95.7% (88.1% to 98.5%) and a negative likelihood ratio of 0.05 (0.02 to 0.10). However, the specificity and positive likelihood ratio of uIFNγ was higher than ADA (96.3% (81.7% to 99.3%) and 25.8 (3.6 to 183.4) versus 84% (65.4% to 93.6%) and 6.0 (3.7 to 9.8); P = 0.03) at an estimated background prevalence of TB of 30%. The sensitivity and negative predictive value of both uIFNγ and ADA were higher than Xpert-MT/RIF (P < 0.001). uIFNγ offers superior accuracy for the diagnosis of microbiologically confirmed TBP compared to the ADA assay and the Xpert MTB/RIF test.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · BMC Medicine
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    • "More recently the Xpert MTB/RIF assay, a fully automated quantitative real-time hemi-nested PCR, was introduced into high burden settings and is able to detect M. tuberculosis within 2 hours and also provide information about rifampicin susceptibility [7]. The assay has been validated using sputum samples and recently endorsed by the WHO as a rapid test for both smear-positive and smear-negative (paucibacillary) respiratory samples [8,9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The accuracy of currently available same-day diagnostic tools (smear microscopy and conventional nucleic acid amplification tests) for pleural tuberculosis (TB) is sub-optimal. Newer technologies may offer improved detection. Smear-microscopy, adenosine deaminase (ADA), interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), and Xpert MTB/RIF [using an unprocessed (1 ml) and centrifuged (~20 ml) sample] test accuracy was evaluated in pleural fluid from 103 consecutive patients with suspected pleural TB. Culture for M.tuberculosis and/or histopathology (pleural biopsy) served as the reference standard. Patients were followed prospectively to determine their diagnostic categorisation. Of 93 evaluable participants, 40 had definite-TB (reference positive), 5 probable-TB (not definite but treated for TB) and 48 non-TB (culture and histology negative, and not treated for TB). Xpert MTB/RIF sensitivity and specificity (95% CI) was 22.5% (12.4 - 37.6) and 98% (89.2 - 99.7), respectively, and centrifugation did not improve sensitivity (23.7%). The Xpert MTB/RIF internal positive control showed no evidence of inhibition. Biomarker specific sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPVs were: ADA (48.85 IU/L; rule-in cut-point) 55.3% (39.8 - 69.9), 95.2% (83.9 - 98.7), 91.4 (73.4 - 95.4), 69.7% (56.7 - 80.1); ADA (30 IU/L; clinically used cut-point) 79% (63.7 - 89), 92.7% (80.6 - 97.5), 91.0 (73.4 - 95.4), 82.7% (69.3 - 90.1); and IFN-gamma (107.7 pg/ml; rule-in cut-point) 92.5% (80.2 - 97.5), 95.9% (86.1 - 98.9), 94.9% (83.2 - 98.6), 93.9% (83.5 - 97.9), respectively (IFN-gamma sensitivity and NPV better than Xpert [p < 0.05] and rule-in ADA [p < 0.05]). The usefulness of Xpert MTB/RIF to diagnose pleural TB is limited by its poor sensitivity. IFN-gamma is an excellent rule-in test and, compared to ADA, has significantly better sensitivity and rule-out value in a TB-endemic setting.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BMC Pulmonary Medicine
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