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Cross sectional analysis
An automated molecular test for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and resistance to rifampin (Xpert MTB/RIF) is sensitive and can be carried out in less than 2 h
  1. Mark Melzer
  1. Queens Hospital, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust, Essex, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mark Melzer
    Rom Valley Rd, Romford, Essex RM7 0AG, UK; Mark.Melzer{at}

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In parts of Eastern Europe and the developing world, where a lack of diagnostic tuberculosis (TB) laboratory facilities exist, the prevalence of multidrug and extensive drug resistance is rising. Conventional sputum microscopy, using Ziehl–Neelsen or auramine stains, have low sensitivities, and the accuracy of these results rely on the skill of technical staff. Because the doubling time of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is slower than conventional bacteria, considerable delays occur in obtaining mycobacterial speciation and susceptibility results. In patients with drug-resistant TB, suboptimal treatment results in worse clinical outcomes and inadequate treatment leads to failure to control disease and increases the risk of transmission to close contacts.1

In a recently published paper, Boehme and colleagues investigated the utility of …

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  • Competing interests None.