Xpert MTB/RIF roll-out
Earlier and improved tuberculosis (TB) case detection - including smear-negative disease, often associated with HIV co-infection - as well as expanded capacity to diagnose multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are global priorities for TB control. Conventional laboratory methods are slow and cumbersome and novel technologies for rapid detection are therefore the focus of TB research and development. With support from NIH, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) has partnered with Cepheid, Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ, Newark, NY) to develop a TB-specific automated, cartridge-based nucleic amplification assay (Xpert MTB/RIF) based on the GeneXpert multi-disease platform, currently unique in its simplification of molecular testing with fully integrated and automated sample preparation, amplification and detection required for real-time polymerase chain reaction. Xpert MTB/RIF detects M. tuberculosis as well as rifampicin resistance-conferring mutations directly from sputum, in an assay providing results within two hours.
In October 2013, WHO issued updated policy guidance and recommendations:
For more on this story: