n South African Medical Journal - Use of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay in the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis : a cautionary note : correspondence




The Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid) assay is a nucleic acid amplification test developed to detect mycobacterial tuberculosis (MTB) infection and rifampicin resistance. It is a closed system, requires minimal training to use, and produces a result in a few hours. When used as an initial diagnostic test replacing smear microscopy for pulmonary tuberculosis, the Xpert MTB/RIF has a pooled sensitivity of 88%. The application of this test has been extended to extrapulmonary samples, including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).


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