The spread of DR-TB strains threatens recent gains in global TB control, with evidence that the majority of patients with rifampicin-resistant (RR-TB) or multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) TB acquire their infection through person-to-person transmission. Inadequate diagnostic and treatment options have hampered an effective global response. The use of Xpert MTB/RIF as a rapid and sensitive frontline TB detection test has been shown to improve patient outcomes and is cost-effective, but data for RR/MDR-TB are lacking; partly hampered by the poor treatment options available in the past. The article provides a brief overview of the perceived benefits, limitations, and remaining challenges with the new test.
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European Respiratory Journal