n South African Medical Journal - GeneXpert TB 8 : a point-of-care diagnostic pilot : correspondence




The point-of-care (POC) GeneXpert MTB/RIF detects (MTB) and drug resistance in under 2 hours and was hailed a 'game-changer' for tuberculosis (TB) control. Recent results from Evaluating a New Diagnostic Trial (EXTEND) show that while implementing the GeneXpert had more confirmations of TB than sputum microscopy, levels of loss to follow-up and mortality were not reduced in the GeneXpert group. These results are discouraging. However, GeneXpert was not used as a true POC service. Using the diagnostic at POC, where results are handed to patients at the time and place of sample collection, may yield different outcomes.


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