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Revista Pan-Amazônica de Saúde

versão impressa ISSN 2176-6223versão On-line ISSN 2176-6223


LIMA, Taiza Maschio de; BELOTTI, Naiara Cristina Ule; NARDI, Susilene Maria Tonelli  e  PEDRO, Heloisa da Silveira Paro. GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay for diagnosis of tuberculosis. Rev Pan-Amaz Saude [online]. 2017, vol.8, n.2, pp.65-76. ISSN 2176-6223.


In 2013, the GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay, a rapid tool for diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), was implanted in Brazilian Unified Health System. This test detects the presence of genetic material of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and the resistance to rifampicin in a single reaction, providing results within 2 h.


To analyze the results of the use of GeneXpert assay for laboratory diagnosis of TB.


A review of the literature about the GeneXpert assay was carried out using manuals and articles from different languages on MEDLINE, SciELO, LILACS, and Google Scholar in which 60 articles were selected.


From the 49 articles that reported using clinical material, 51.0% (N = 25) analyzed samples from priority countries according to World Health Organization. Although 63.2% (N = 31) of articles have reported pulmonary samples, some studies have shown good performance of that method in extrapulmonary samples. The sensitivity of GeneXpert in the analyzed studies ranged from 46.0% to 100.0%. Surveys have shown good performance of the GeneXpert molecular assay for the diagnosis of TB. The technique is simple, with low biological risks, with equivalent cost of other molecular techniques and can be performed with minimal training.


Many studies have pointed out this method is quickly, with good sensitivity and specificity. GeneXpert does not eliminate the need of traditional bacteriological methods. Future studies may clarify some divergences among consulted researches, mainly about resistance to rifampicin.

Palavras-chave : Tuberculosis; Diagnosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Molecular Biology.

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