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Comparing laboratory costs of smear/culture and Xpert(®) MTB/RIF-based tuberculosis diagnostic algorithms

Naidoo, P, Dunbar, R, du Toit, E, van Niekerk, M, Squire, Bertie ORCID:, Beyers, N and Madan, J (2016) 'Comparing laboratory costs of smear/culture and Xpert(®) MTB/RIF-based tuberculosis diagnostic algorithms'. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Vol 20, Issue 10, 1377-1385(9).

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Cape Town, South Africa, where Xpert® MTB/RIF was introduced as a screening test for all presumptive tuberculosis (TB) cases.

To compare laboratory costs of smear/culture- and Xpert-based tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic algorithms in routine operational conditions.

Economic costing was undertaken from a laboratory perspective, using an ingredients-based costing approach. Cost allocation was based on reviews of standard operating procedures and laboratory records, timing of test procedures, measurement of laboratory areas and manager interviews. We analysed laboratory test data to assess overall costs and cost per pulmonary TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) case diagnosed. Costs were expressed as 2013 Consumer Price Index-adjusted values.

Total TB diagnostic costs increased by 43%, from US$440 967 in the smear/culture-based algorithm (April–June 2011) to US$632 262 in the Xpert-based algorithm (April–June 2013). The cost per TB case diagnosed increased by 157%, from US$48.77 (n = 1601) to US$125.32 (n = 1281). The total cost per MDR-TB case diagnosed was similar, at US$190.14 and US$183.86, with 95 and 107 cases diagnosed in the respective algorithms.

The introduction of the Xpert-based algorithm resulted in substantial cost increases. This was not matched by the expected increase in TB diagnostic efficacy, calling into question the sustainability of this expensive new technology.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 220 Diagnosis. Prognosis
WP Gynecology > Anatomy. Diseases. Injuries > WP 141 Examination. Diagnosis. Diagnostic methods. Monitoring
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 11:49
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2019 11:22


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