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India-made TrueNat MTB for Tuberculosis

Posted on : 24 Jan 2020

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  • In a Rapid Communication published on January 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) had mentioned that the India-made TrueNat MTB, a molecular diagnostic test for pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB and rifampicin-resistant TB, has high accuracy.
  • TrueNat MTB has “high diagnostic accuracy as initial test to diagnose TB and to sequentially detect rifampicin resistance”, says the WHO Communication. It will be used as an initial test thus replacing sputum smear microscopy.
  • TrueNat is developed by the Goa-based Molbio Diagnostics. The company was provided with technical assistance and resources by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to help commercialise TrueNat. ICMR had assessed and validated the diagnostic tool.
  • TrueNat will be cheaper per test than Xpert. The equipment and cartridges cost more in the case of Xpert. TrueNat is robust and most suited for Indian conditions.
  • With its better sensitivity, TrueNat can be used as the initial tool for TB diagnosis. While sputum microscopy has only about 50% sensitivity, TrueNat has been found to have higher sensitivity and specificity.
  • In the case of TrueNat MTBPlus, which uses two targets to diagnose TB bacteria, the sensitivity increases to 89% and the specificity is 98%. In comparison, Xpert, which is also a molecular diagnostic test and has been widely used across the world, the sensitivity is 85% and specificity is 98%.
  • According to WHO, the accuracy of TrueNat and TrueNat MTB Plus is comparable with Xpert and Xpert Ultra. Likewise, the accuracy to detect rifampicin resistance using TrueNat MTB-RIF is comparable with Xpert and Xpert Ultra.
  • While Xpert needs reliable electricity supply and air-conditioning, TrueNat is battery operated and portable, hence, it can be used in remote places.
  • TrueNat takes about 25 minutes to extract the DNA and another 35 minutes for diagnosis.
  • Compared with a one ml of sputum sample required in the case of Xpert, only 0.5 ml sample is needed for TrueNat. In the case of TB positive samples, the actual bacterial load in 1 ml of sputum sample is given, while Xpert provides only a qualitative result.

Article Related Questions

  1. TrueNat MTB a molecular diagnostic test recently made by India is related to which disease?

  2. 1.AIDS

    2.Cancer

    3.Tuberculosis

    4.Diabetes

    Right Ans : Tuberculosis

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