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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2014 Jul;18(7):876-8. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.13.0853.

False-positive Xpert® MTB/RIF assays in previously treated patients: need for caution in interpreting results.

Author information

1
<label>*</label>Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
2
<label><sup>†</sup></label>Médecins Sans Frontières, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa.
3
<label><sup>‡</sup></label>Khayelitsha District Hospital, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa.
4
<label><sup>§</sup></label>Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

Xpert(®) MTB/RIF is the initial diagnostic test of choice for tuberculosis (TB). It is not known if false-positive results are more common in previously treated patients. We report four patients with successful treatment for TB up to 5 years previously who presented with respiratory tract infection and were Xpert-positive, but had negative TB cultures and clinical improvement without anti-tuberculosis treatment. We hypothesise that the Xpert results were false-positive due to the presence of dead Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli in lungs and sputum. Further work is required to determine the specificity of Xpert in previously treated patients.

PMID:
24902569
DOI:
10.5588/ijtld.13.0853
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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