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A commercial line probe assay for the rapid detection of rifampicin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis



Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a leading cause of death worldwide. In multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infectiousness is frequently prolonged, jeopardizing efforts to control TB. The conventional tuberculosis drug susceptibility tests are sensitive and specific, but they are not rapid. The INNO-LiPA Rif. TB ® (LiPA) is a commercial line probe assay designed to rapidly detect rifampicin resistance, a marker of MDR-TB. Although LiPA has shown promising results, its overall accuracy has not been systematically evaluated.


We did a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the accuracy of LiPA for the detection of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis among culture isolates and clinical specimens. We searched Medline, Embase, Web of Science, BIOSIS, and Google Scholar, and contacted authors, experts and the manufacturer. Fifteen studies met our inclusion criteria. Of these, 11 studies used culture isolates, one used clinical specimens, and three used both. We used a summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve and Q* index to perform meta-analysis and summarize diagnostic accuracy.


Twelve of 14 studies that applied LiPA to isolates had sensitivity greater than 95%, and 12 of 14 had specificity of 100%. The four studies that applied LiPA directly to clinical specimens had 100% specificity, and sensitivity that ranged between 80% and 100%. The SROC curve had an area of 0.99 and Q* of 0.97.


LiPA is a highly sensitive and specific test for the detection of rifampicin resistance in culture isolates. The test appears to have relatively lower sensitivity when used directly on clinical specimens. More evidence is needed before LiPA can be used to detect MDR-TB among populations at risk in clinical practice.

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