Xpert(®) MTB/RIF for point-of-care diagnosis of TB in high-HIV burden, resource-limited countries: hype or hope?

Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2010 Oct;10(7):937-46. doi: 10.1586/erm.10.67.


Despite the identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the cause of tuberculosis (TB) more than a century ago, diagnosing TB in resource-poor countries remains a challenge, especially in people living with HIV. In the past decade, important research investments have been made towards the development of new diagnostics for TB and the Xpert(®) MTB/RIF assay (Cepheid, CA, USA) has emerged as one of the most promising. In this article, we review the current knowledge on Xpert MTB/RIF, discuss the potential value of Xpert MTB/RIF as a point-of-care diagnostic for drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB, and outline the potential indications for the assay in resource-limited, high-HIV burden settings. We also discuss key research questions that need to be addressed prior to possible large-scale implementation of the assay.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Developing Countries
  • HIV / pathogenicity
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Tuberculosis / complications*
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / diagnosis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents