Different drugs are available to treat tuberculosis (TB), but resistance to these drugs is a growing problem. People with drug-resistant TB require second-line TB drugs that, compared with first-line TB drugs, must be taken for longer and may be associated with more harms. Detecting TB drug resistance quickly is important for improving health, reducing deaths, and decreasing the spread of drug-resistant TB.
Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is caused by TB bacteria that are resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most potent TB drugs.
Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a type of MDR-TB that is resistant to nearly all TB drugs.
What test is evaluated by this review?
GenoType® MTBDRsl (MTBDRsl) is a rapid test for detecting resistance to second-line TB drugs. In people with MDR-TB, MTBDRsl is used to detect additional drug resistance. The test may be performed on TB bacteria grown in culture from a patient specimen (indirect testing) or on a patient specimen (direct testing), which eliminates delays associated with culture. MTBDRsl version 1.0 requires a specimen to be smear-positive by microscopy, while version 2.0 (released in 2015) may use a smear-positive or -negative specimen.
What are the aims of the review?
We wanted to find out how accurate MTBDRsl is for detecting drug resistance; to compare indirect and direct testing; and to compare the two test versions.
How up-to-date is the review?
We searched for and used studies that had been published up to 21 September 2015.
What are the main results of the review?
We found 27 studies; 26 studies evaluated MTBDRsl version 1.0 and one study evaluated version 2.0.
MTBDRsl version 1.0 (smear-positive specimen) detected 86% of people with fluoroquinolone resistance and rarely gave a positive result for people without resistance (GRADE, moderate quality evidence).
Second-line injectable drugs
MTBDRsl version 1.0 (smear-positive specimen) detected 87% of people with second-line injectable drug resistance and rarely gave a positive result for people without resistance (GRADE, low quality evidence).
MTBDRsl version 1.0 (smear-positive specimen) detected 69% of people with XDR-TB and rarely gave a positive result for people without resistance (GRADE, low quality evidence).
For MTBDRsl version 1.0, we found similar results for indirect and direct testing (smear-positive specimen).
As we identified only one study evaluating MTBDRsl version 2.0, we could not be sure of the diagnostic accuracy of version 2.0. Also, we could not compare accuracy of the two versions.
What is the methodological quality of the evidence?
We used the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool to assess study quality. Overall, we considered the included studies to be of high quality; however, we had concerns about how the reference standard (the benchmark against which MTBDRsl was measured) was applied.
What are the authors' conclusions?
MTBDRsl (smear-positive specimen) identified most of the patients with second-line drug resistance. When the test reports a negative result, conventional testing for drug resistance can still be used.
In people with rifampicin-resistant or multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, MTBDRsl performed on a culture isolate or smear-positive specimen may be useful in detecting second-line drug resistance. MTBDRsl (smear-positive specimen) correctly classified around six in seven people as having fluoroquinolone or SLID resistance, although the sensitivity estimates for SLID resistance varied. The test rarely gave a positive result for people without drug resistance. However, when second-line drug resistance is not detected (MTBDRsl result is negative), conventional DST can still be used to evaluate patients for resistance to the fluoroquinolones or SLIDs.
We recommend that future work evaluate MTBDRsl version 2.0, in particular on smear-negative specimens and in different settings to account for different resistance-causing mutations that may vary by strain. Researchers should also consider incorporating WHO-recommended critical concentrations into their culture-based reference standards.
Genotype® MTBDRsl (MTBDRsl) is a rapid DNA-based test for detecting specific mutations associated with resistance to fluoroquinolones and second-line injectable drugs (SLIDs) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. MTBDRsl version 2.0 (released in 2015) identifies the mutations detected by version 1.0, as well as additional mutations. The test may be performed on a culture isolate or a patient specimen, which eliminates delays associated with culture. Version 1.0 requires a smear-positive specimen, while version 2.0 may use a smear-positive or -negative specimen. We performed this updated review as part of a World Health Organization process to develop updated guidelines for using MTBDRsl.
To assess and compare the diagnostic accuracy of MTBDRsl for: 1. fluoroquinolone resistance, 2. SLID resistance, and 3. extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, indirectly on a M. tuberculosis isolate grown from culture or directly on a patient specimen. Participants were people with rifampicin-resistant or multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. The role of MTBDRsl would be as the initial test, replacing culture-based drug susceptibility testing (DST), for detecting second-line drug resistance.
We searched the following databases without language restrictions up to 21 September 2015: the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE; Embase OVID; Science Citation Index Expanded, Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science, and BIOSIS Previews (all three from Web of Science); LILACS; and SCOPUS; registers for ongoing trials; and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I. We reviewed references from included studies and contacted specialists in the field.
We included cross-sectional and case-control studies that determined MTBDRsl accuracy against a defined reference standard (culture-based DST, genetic sequencing, or both).
Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed quality using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool. We synthesized data for versions 1.0 and 2.0 separately. We estimated MTBDRsl sensitivity and specificity for fluoroquinolone resistance, SLID resistance, and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis when the test was performed indirectly or directly (smear-positive specimen for version 1.0, smear-positive or -negative specimen for version 2.0). We explored the influence on accuracy estimates of individual drugs within a drug class and of different reference standards. We performed most analyses using a bivariate random-effects model with culture-based DST as reference standard.
We included 27 studies. Twenty-six studies evaluated version 1.0, and one study version 2.0. Of 26 studies stating specimen country origin, 15 studies (58%) evaluated patients from low- or middle-income countries. Overall, we considered the studies to be of high methodological quality. However, only three studies (11%) had low risk of bias for the reference standard; these studies used World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended critical concentrations for all drugs in the culture-based DST reference standard.
MTBDRsl version 1.0
Fluoroquinolone resistance: indirect testing, MTBDRsl pooled sensitivity and specificity (95% confidence interval (CI)) were 85.6% (79.2% to 90.4%) and 98.5% (95.7% to 99.5%), (19 studies, 2223 participants); direct testing (smear-positive specimen), pooled sensitivity and specificity were 86.2% (74.6% to 93.0%) and 98.6% (96.9% to 99.4%), (nine studies, 1771 participants, moderate quality evidence).
SLID resistance: indirect testing, MTBDRsl pooled sensitivity and specificity were 76.5% (63.3% to 86.0%) and 99.1% (97.3% to 99.7%), (16 studies, 1921 participants); direct testing (smear-positive specimen), pooled sensitivity and specificity were 87.0% (38.1% to 98.6%) and 99.5% (93.6% to 100.0%), (eight studies, 1639 participants, low quality evidence).
Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis: indirect testing, MTBDRsl pooled sensitivity and specificity were 70.9% (42.9% to 88.8%) and 98.8% (96.1% to 99.6%), (eight studies, 880 participants); direct testing (smear-positive specimen), pooled sensitivity and specificity were 69.4% (38.8% to 89.0%) and 99.4% (95.0% to 99.3%), (six studies, 1420 participants, low quality evidence).
Similar to the original Cochrane review, we found no evidence of a significant difference in MTBDRsl version 1.0 accuracy between indirect and direct testing for fluoroquinolone resistance, SLID resistance, and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.
MTBDRsl version 2.0
Fluoroquinolone resistance: direct testing, MTBDRsl sensitivity and specificity were 97% (83% to 100%) and 98% (93% to 100%), smear-positive specimen; 80% (28% to 99%) and 100% (40% to 100%), smear-negative specimen.
SLID resistance: direct testing, MTBDRsl sensitivity and specificity were 89% (72% to 98%) and 90% (84% to 95%), smear-positive specimen; 80% (28% to 99%) and 100% (40% to 100%), smear-negative specimen.
Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis: direct testing, MTBDRsl sensitivity and specificity were 79% (49% to 95%) and 97% (93% to 99%), smear-positive specimen; 50% (1% to 99%) and 100% (59% to 100%), smear-negative specimen.
We had insufficient data to estimate summary sensitivity and specificity of version 2.0 (smear-positive and -negative specimens) or to compare accuracy of the two versions.
A limitation was that most included studies did not consistently use the World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended concentrations for drugs in the culture-based DST reference standard.