Roche has expanded its mycobacteria test menu by introducing cobas MTB-RIF/INH test to detect antibiotic resistance within tuberculosis DNA.

The new test is designed to detect mutations associated with resistance to antibiotics rifampicin and isoniazid. It can be run on the fully automated cobas 6800/8800 Systems.

The cobas 6800/8800 Systems are said to deliver quick results with high throughput thereby enhancing the operating efficiency of laboratories.

The mycobacteria test menu is intended to enable identification of tuberculosis, drug resistant tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacteria infections using a single patient sample.

Apart from the new test, Roche’s mycobacteria test menu includes cobas MTB and cobas MAI tests.

The cobas MTB test is said to feature high sensitivity and facilitates better detection of tuberculosis even in smear-negative samples. It can detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) DNA.

Meanwhile, the cobas MAI test allows the direct detection and differentiation of Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare DNA in symptomatic patients.

Roche noted that all the tests have been validated for use with raw sputum, sputum sediment and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) sediment samples.

The cobas MTB-RIF/INH test Roche Diagnostics CEO Michael Heuer said: “With the addition of cobas MTB-RIF/INH to the mycobacteria test menu, we are able to equip laboratories with flexible, sensitive solutions to best help them diagnose tuberculosis, which is difficult to detect.

“This menu approach aids healthcare providers in addressing the global health challenge that tuberculosis presents.”

“This menu approach not only aids healthcare providers in addressing the global health challenge that tuberculosis presents, but also provides clinicians the valuable information they need to properly diagnose these respiratory infections to speed treatment and reduce the spread of infection.”

Tuberculosis is considered as the primary cause of infectious disease-related deaths globally. Moreover, the emerging drug resistance has led to the tuberculosis global health crisis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease has affected 1.7 billion people, leading to ten million new active tuberculosis infections and 1.6 million deaths in 2017.