Diagnosis of extrapulmonary tuberculosis using the MPT64 antigen detection test in a high-income low tuberculosis prevalence setting
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Infectious Diseases. 2020, 20, 130 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-4852-z
Background Extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) poses diagnostic challenges due to the paucibacillary nature of the disease. The immunochemistry-based MPT64 antigen detection test (MPT64 test) has shown promising results for diagnosing EPTB in previous studies performed in low-resource settings, with higher sensitivity than microscopy and culture. The aim of this study was to investigate the performance of the MPT64 test in a routine clinical setting in a high-income low TB prevalence country. Methods Extrapulmonary samples sent for TB diagnostics to microbiology and pathology laboratories at three regional tertiary care hospitals in Norway in a one-year period were included and subjected to the MPT64 test in parallel to the routine TB diagnostic tests. Results Samples from 288 patients were included and categorised as confirmed TB cases (n = 26), clinically diagnosed TB cases (n = 5), non-TB cases (n = 243) and uncategorised (n = 14), using a composite reference standard (CRS). In formalin-fixed biopsies, the sensitivity (95% CI) of the MPT64 test, microscopy, PCR-based tests pooled, and culture was 37% (16–62), 20% (4–48), 37% (16–62) and 50% (23–77), respectively, against the CRS. The MPT64 test showed a good positive predictive value (88%) and an excellent specificity (99, 95% CI 92–100) in formalin-fixed biopsies. In fine-needle aspirates, pus and fluid samples, the test performance was lower. Conclusions The MPT64 test was implementable in pathology laboratories as part of routine diagnostics, and although the sensitivity of the MPT64 test was not better than culture in this setting, the test supplements other rapid diagnostic methods, including microscopy and PCR-based tests, and can contribute to strengthen the diagnosis of EPTB in formalin-fixed biopsies in the absence of culture confirmation.