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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 102430, 6 pages
Research Article

The Application of GeneXpert MTB/RIF for Smear-Negative TB Diagnosis as a Fee-Paying Service at a South Asian General Hospital

1Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Patan Hospital, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 252, Kathmandu, Nepal
2Department of Clinical Sciences, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
3Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme, 764 Vo Van Kiet, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Patan Hospital, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 252, Kathmandu, Nepal

Received 25 September 2014; Revised 12 February 2015; Accepted 18 March 2015

Academic Editor: Vincent Jarlier

Copyright © 2015 Poojan Shrestha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert) is a novel automated diagnostic tool for tuberculosis but its optimal placement in the healthcare system has not been determined. The objective of this study was to determine the possibility of additional case detection for pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) by offering Xpert to smear-negative patients in a low-HIV burden setting with no Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb.) culture facilities. Patients routinely presenting with symptoms suggestive of PTB with negative smears were offered single Xpert test on a fee-paying basis. Data were retrospectively reviewed to determine case detection in patients tested from February to December 2013. Symptoms associated with a positive test were analysed to determine if refinement of clinical criteria would reduce unnecessary testing. 258 smear-negative patients were included and M.tb. was detected in 55 (21.32%, ). Using standard clinical assessment for selection, testing 5 patients detected one case of smear-negative PTB. These results demonstrate that fee-paying Xpert service in low-income setting can increase TB case confirmation substantially and further systematic studies of health economic implications should be conducted to determine optimal implementation models to increase access to Xpert in low- and middle-income countries.