Research

Impact of Xpert MTB/RIF rollout on management of tuberculosis in a South African community

B-M Schmidt, H Geldenhuys, M Tameris, A Luabeya, H Mulenga, E Bunyasi, T Scriba, M Hatherill

Abstract


Background. The Xpert MTB/RIF test shortens the time to microbiological confirmation of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) under research conditions.

Objective. To evaluate the field impact of Xpert MTB/RIF rollout on TB diagnostic yield and time to treatment in a South African (SA) community.

Methods. We compared TB investigation outcomes for 6-month calendar periods before and after Xpert MTB/RIF rollout in a semi-rural area of SA. The proportion of adult patients who tested positive by sputum smear microscopy, liquid culture or Xpert MTB/RIF and the proportion of positive sputum smear, liquid culture or Xpert MTB/RIF tests were compared. Secondary outcomes included time to laboratory diagnosis and treatment initiation. Data were collected from the National Health Laboratory Service database and from the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health TB register.

Results. Regional rollout of Xpert MTB/RIF testing occurred in 2013. Of the 15 629 patients investigated in the post-rollout period, 7.9% tested positive on GeneXpert, compared with 6.4% of the 10 741 investigated in the pre-rollout period who tested positive by sputum smear microscopy (p<0.001). Median laboratory processing time was <1 day for Xpert MTB/RIF (interquartile range (IQR) 0 - 1) compared with 1 day (IQR 0 - 16) for sputum smear microscopy (p=0.001). The median time to TB treatment initiation was 4 days (IQR 2 - 8) after rollout compared with 5 days (IQR 2 - 14) before (p=0.001).

Conclusions. Patients investigated for suspected pulmonary TB were more likely to be diagnosed after rollout of Xpert MTB/RIF testing, although the benefit to diagnostic yield was modest, and Xpert MTB/RIF testing was associated with a marginal improvement in time to treatment initiation.

 


Authors' affiliations

B-M Schmidt, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

H Geldenhuys, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

M Tameris, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

A Luabeya, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

H Mulenga, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

E Bunyasi, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

T Scriba, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

M Hatherill, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Xpert MTB/RIF; Tuberculosis; Testing; Diagnosis; Treatment

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2017;107(12):1078-1081. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i12.12502

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-11-27
Date published: 2017-11-27

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