Osuoha Chinyere Beatrice has completed her BMLS and MPH degrees from the Imo State University, Nigeria. She is currently the Head of the Medical Laboratory Services of General Hospital, Awo-Omamma, a subsidiary of Imo State Hospitals Management Board, Nigeria. She has many peer-reviewed scholarly works and has been the Chairperson of the Hospital’s Staff Welfare Committee.



Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has remained a major scourge of humanity all over the world, with the greatest mortality occurrences noted in developing countries. The cannot-be-overemphasized burden of TB in Nigeria is among the highest in Africa. The study on hand was therefore aimed at comparing Cepheid GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay for direct detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and Rifampin (RIF) resistance with the traditional smear microscopy method - the ZN technique. Sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic yields were high points of comparison. A carefully designed cross-sectional study was drawn and executed at the General Hospital, Awo-Omamma, covering patients’ inflow from August 2016 to May 2017. Amongst the numerous patients presenting, a total of 120 samples were collected from patients with highest pulmonary concerns, having been assessed prognostically. 62 (74.4%) were males, 58 (25.6%) were females and all having mean ages of 42.2±16 years and about 30 patients (36%) had chronic lung diseases. Out of the 120 samples examined, 36 samples (43.2%) were MTBC positive by smear microscopy while 42 (50.4%) were positive by GeneXpert assay. Only one sample showed false-negative result for GeneXpert. Placing both methods (GeneXpert and Smear microscopy) side-by-side, GeneXpert gave 85% sensitivity and 98.5% specificity. GeneXpert indeed detected 6 (7.2%) additional positive cases as compared to smear microscopy. Only five clinical isolates of the entire patients were resistant to Rifampin. The study therefore concluded that GeneXpert was a better and more reliable diagnostic tool compared to smear microscopy and can significantly reduce false-negatives and very interestingly, rules out the unnecessary delays often experienced hitherto with Smear microscopy in treatment initiation.