Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in blood by use of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay

Padmapriya P. Banada, Ranie Koshy, David Alland

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23 Scopus citations


We have developed a novel blood lysis-centrifugation approach for highly sensitive Mycobacterium tuberculosis detection in large volumes of blood with the Xpert MTB/RIF assay. One through 20 ml of blood was spiked with 0.25 to 10 CFU/ml of theM. tuberculosis surrogateM. bovis BCG. Multiple replicates of each sample were processed by a new lysis-centrifugation method and tested with the Xpert MTB/RIF assay. The assay was very sensitive with increased blood volumes. In the 20-ml samples, BCG was detected in blood spiked with 10, 5, 1, and 0.25 CFU/ml 100, 100, 83, and 57% of the time, respectively, compared to 100, 66, 18, and 18%, of the time, respectively, in 1-ml blood samples. Assay sensitivity was influenced by the type of anticoagulant used, with acid-citrate-dextrose solution B (ACD-B) providing the best results. A limit of detection of 10 CFU/ml was established with BCG spiked into ACD-B-treated blood, and 92, 36, and 33% of the samples with 5, 1, and 0.5 CFU/ml, respectively, were assay positive. The lysis buffer was stable both at room temperature and at 4°C for 2 months. The assay was tested with blood stored for 8 days without a change in sensitivity as measured by cycle threshold. This new assay format extends the capability of the Xpert MTB/RIF test, enabling up to 20 ml of blood to be tested rapidly for the presence of M. tuberculosis. This approach may be a useful method to detect extrapulmonary tuberculosis and the risk of death in immunocompromised patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2317-2322
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)


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