MTB Plus- (AFB Smear + GeneXpert (Pulmo)+ AFB/TB Culture) Test

MTB Plus is a comprehensive test that uses three different techniques - AFB Smear, GeneXpert, and AFB/TB Culture - to diagnose tuberculosis (TB). Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). This test is performed on a sputum sample - a type of thick mucus produced in the lungs and in the airways leading to the lungs.

  • Test NameMTB Plus- (AFB Smear + GeneXpert (Pulmo)+ AFB/TB Culture) Test
  • Sample TypeSputum
  • Preparations RequiredPlease avoid eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth for an hour before sample collection.
  • Report Time1-7 days

The Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) smear is a quick test to detect mycobacteria, including the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, in the sputum. The GeneXpert test is a molecular test that uses a sample of sputum to detect the DNA of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and can also determine if the bacteria are resistant to rifampicin, one of the first-line drugs used to treat TB. AFB/TB culture is a more time-consuming test but it is the most accurate way to diagnose TB and can also identify drug resistance.

Home Sample Collection Process
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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Download Reports
Frequently Asked Questions

If you have symptoms such as a persistent cough, weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, or chest pain, and your healthcare provider suspects tuberculosis, they may recommend the MTB Plus test.

You will be instructed to cough deeply to bring up the sputum from your lungs. The sample is collected in a sterile container.

A positive result in any of the three tests included in MTB Plus suggests the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, indicating a likely case of tuberculosis.

Rifampicin resistance detected by the GeneXpert test could be a sign of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Further testing will be necessary to confirm this and to determine the best course of treatment.

These tests are an important part of diagnosing TB, but your healthcare provider will also consider your symptoms, medical history, and the results of other investigations when making a diagnosis.

There is no specific preparation required for the MTB Plus test. However, you should avoid eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth for an hour before sample collection.

In some cases, medications that you are taking can affect the test results. Infections other than TB can also cause a positive AFB smear.

The frequency of testing depends on your symptoms and the recommendation of your healthcare provider.

In a healthy person, Mycobacterium tuberculosis should not be present, so the normal result would be negative for all three tests.

Lifestyle factors do not directly affect the test results. However, a weakened immune system due to unhealthy lifestyle choices can make you more susceptible to tuberculosis.

If your test results are abnormal, you should consult a specialist in infectious diseases or a pulmonologist, who specializes in lung conditions.

Yes, you can get the MTB Plus test during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have symptoms suggestive of TB, prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial for the health of both the mother and the baby.

Yes, children can undergo the MTB Plus test if there is a suspicion of TB.

If the test result is positive, your healthcare provider will discuss the results with you and plan the next steps, which will likely include treatment for TB.

Each of the three tests included in the MTB Plus has different levels of sensitivity and specificity, but when used together, they provide a comprehensive and reliable method for diagnosing TB.

The AFB smear test is a quick method to detect mycobacteria under a microscope, but it doesn't specifically identify M. tuberculosis. The GeneXpert test, on the other hand, can specifically detect M. tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance within a few hours. The AFB/TB culture is the gold standard test that allows for precise identification of M. tuberculosis and testing for drug sensitivity, but it can take weeks to get the results due to the slow growth rate of the bacterium.

Rifampicin is one of the main drugs used in TB treatment. If M. tuberculosis is resistant to rifampicin, it indicates a more complex form of the disease known as multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). This form requires more intensive treatment with second-line drugs, which can have more side effects and a longer treatment duration.

For children or individuals who can't produce a sputum sample by coughing, a procedure called a sputum induction might be used. This involves the inhalation of a saline mist that stimulates coughing and the production of sputum.

Yes, other mycobacterial infections can cause a positive AFB smear. However, the GeneXpert and AFB/TB culture tests are specific to M. tuberculosis.

People with latent TB infection will not have M. tuberculosis in their sputum and will not have a positive result in these tests. However, they might have a positive result in a TB skin test or TB blood test.

The MTB Plus test is a valuable tool in the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis. By providing an accurate and prompt diagnosis, it allows for timely treatment, reducing the risk of complications and the spread of the disease. If you are experiencing symptoms suggestive of TB, or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with TB, consult with your healthcare provider about the appropriateness of this test for you.

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