Author(s): Reischl U, Lehn N, Wolf H, Naumann L
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Abstract We evaluated the COBAS AMPLICOR PCR system (Roche Diagnostics) for the routine detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) in clinical specimens. Diagnostic culture, considered as the reference method, was performed with BACTEC, Löwenstein-Jensen, Stonebrink, and Kirchner media. Occasionally MB-Redox, ESP, or MGIT medium was also used. A total of 643 respiratory and 506 nonrespiratory specimens collected from 807 patients were investigated. Of the 95 culture-positive specimens, 80 were COBAS AMPLICOR MTB positive, and of the 1,054 culture-negative specimens, 1,044 were COBAS AMPLICOR MTB negative. After resolving discrepancies by review of the medical history, the overall sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for the COBAS AMPLICOR MTB assay, respectively, were 83.5, 98.8, 86.7, and 98.6\% compared to those of diagnostic culture. In smear-positive specimens, the sensitivity of the COBAS AMPLICOR MTB assay was 96\%, versus 48\% for smear-negative specimens. No significant differences in the test performance between respiratory and nonrespiratory specimens were observed. The overall inhibition rate was less than 2\%, excluding stool specimens. The clear advantages of the COBAS AMPLICOR PCR system are standardized procedures and reagents for specimen processing as well as an internal control for reliable monitoring of PCR inhibitors. By simplifying the work flow through a completely automated amplification and amplicon detection procedure, the COBAS AMPLICOR PCR system proved itself as a very useful component for routine diagnostic procedures.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis