Author(s): Theron G, Pooran A, Peter J, van ZylSmit R, Kumar Mishra H,
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Abstract Information regarding the utility of adjunct diagnostic tests in combination with Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) is limited. We hypothesised adjunct tests could enhance accuracy and/or reduce the cost of tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis prior to MTB/RIF testing, and rule-in or rule-out TB in MTB/RIF-negative individuals. We assessed the accuracy and/or laboratory-associated cost of diagnosis of smear microscopy, chest radiography (CXR) and interferon-γ release assays (IGRAs; T-SPOT-TB (Oxford Immunotec, Oxford, UK) and QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (Cellestis, Chadstone, Australia)) combined with MTB/RIF for TB in 480 patients in South Africa. When conducted prior to MTB/RIF: 1) smear microscopy followed by MTB/RIF (if smear negative) had the lowest cost of diagnosis of any strategy investigated; 2) a combination of smear microscopy, CXR (if smear negative) and MTB/RIF (if imaging compatible with active TB) did not further reduce the cost per TB case diagnosed; and 3) a normal CXR ruled out TB in 18\% of patients (57 out of 324; negative predictive value (NPV) 100\%). When downstream adjunct tests were applied to MTB/RIF-negative individuals, radiology ruled out TB in 24\% (56 out of 234; NPV 100\%), smear microscopy ruled in TB in 21\% (seven out of 24) of culture-positive individuals and IGRAs were not useful in either context. In resource-poor settings, smear microscopy combined with MTB/RIF had the highest accuracy and lowest cost of diagnosis compared to either technique alone. In MTB/RIF-negative individuals, CXR has poor rule-in value but can reliably rule out TB in approximately one in four cases. These data inform upon the programmatic utility of MTB/RIF in high-burden settings.
This article was published in Eur Respir J
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology