Validation of an indigenous assay for rapid molecular detection of rifampicin resistance in presumptive multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis patients

Indian J Med Res. 2020 Nov;152(5):482-489. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_2557_19.


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: There is a need for an affordable, easy, high-sensitivity test usable at the peripheral health facility for diagnosis of drug-resistant (DR) tuberculosis (TB) to interrupt disease transmission. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for early detection of DR-TB are ideal to bring testing near to the patient. TruenatTM MTB (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and TruenatTM MTB-RIF (rifampicin) is an indigenous chip-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based test for detection of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB. The test involves extraction of DNA using automated, battery operated Trueprep instrument and real-time PCR performed on the Truelab analyzer. We report here multicentric validation of Truenat MTB-RIF for detection of DR-TB in suspected DR-TB patients.

METHODS: Consecutive patients aged 18-65 yr, with symptoms suggestive of TB and with a history of previous treatment, reporting to the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) clinics under four national institutes, namely AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi), NITRD (National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi), NIRT (National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai) and ICMR-National JALMA Institute for Leprosy and other Mycobacterial Diseases, Agra, were included in the study. Two sputum samples (one spot and one morning) were collected from each patient, after obtaining informed written consent. The samples were subjected to smear, GeneXpert and MGIT 960 culture (and drug susceptibility testing to RIF) (surrogate for MDR-TB) to serve as reference tests. The samples were coded to ensure blinding and subjected to Truenat MTB-RIF. Truenat MTB-RIF Version 1.5 was used for testing 1084 samples for RIF resistance, while Version 2.0 was used to test another 1201 samples.

RESULTS: Truenat MTB-RIF Version 1.5 in comparison with comprehensive laboratory reference standards yielded sensitivity and specificity of 76.2 and 94.7 per cent, respectively for the detection of RIF resistance in 1084 samples, collected across four sites. Based on the analysis of discordant samples, Version 2.0 of Truenat was developed by the manufacturer and this was further tested on additional 1201 samples, yielding a sensitivity of 87.5 per cent and specificity of 99.5 per cent.

INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: Multicentric trial of TruenatTM MTB-RIF demonstrated a great potential of this point of care NAAT for detection of MDR-TB. The test would be useful in limited resource settings and inaccessible areas without need for any additional infrastructure.

PMID:33707390 | DOI:10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_2557_19