Free Content Evaluation of FASTPlaqueTB-RIF™, a rapid, manual test for the determination of rifampicin resistance from Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures

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SETTING: Two Mycobacteriology Reference Laboratories in Johannesburg (Laboratory 1) and Cape Town (Laboratory 2), South Africa.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the ability of the FASTPlaqueTB-RIF™ test to correctly identify rifampicin susceptibility on strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultured on solid media.

DESIGN: A comparative study of FASTPlaqueTB-RIF™ and conventional drug susceptibility methods, with selection bias to include sufficient rifampicin resistant strains.

RESULTS: Rifampicin susceptibility results were available for 191 strains of M. tuberculosis. Eighty-one strains were found to be rifampicin resistant and 110 strains were rifampicin susceptible by conventional methods. The sensitivity, specificity and overall accuracy for the FASTPlaqueTB-RIF™ were 100%, 97% and 98% at Laboratory 1, and 100%, 94% and 97% at Laboratory 2.

CONCLUSION: FASTPlaqueTB-RIF™ offers a performance comparable to the gold standard proportion methods of rifampicin susceptibility testing, as well as the advantage of the speed of results that the newer methods deliver, without the need for specialised equipment. This makes FASTPlaqueTB-RIF™ a rapid test for rifampicin resistance suitable for widespread application.

Keywords: mycobacteriophage; resistance; rifampicin; susceptibility test; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Biotec Laboratories Ltd., Ipswich, UK 2: TB Laboratory, South African Institute for Medical Research, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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