Evaluation of OMNIgene Sputum and ethanol reagent for preservation of sputum prior to Xpert and culture testing in Uganda

Elisa Ardizzoni, Patrick Orikiriza, Charles Ssuuna, Dan Nyehangane, Mourad Gumsboga, Ivan Mugisha Taremwa, Esther Turyashemererwa, Juliet Mwanga-Amumpaire, Celine Langendorf, Maryline Bonnet

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Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert) and culture are the most reliable methods for tuberculosis diagnosis but are still poorly accessible in many low-resource countries. We aimed to assess the effects of OMNIgene Sputum (OM-S) and ethanol in preserving sputum for Xpert and OM-S for mycobacterial growth indicator tube (MGIT) testing over periods of 15 and 8 days, respectively. Sputum samples were collected from newly diagnosed smear-positive patients. For Xpert, pooled samples were split into 5 aliquots: 3 for Xpert on days 0, 7, and 15 without additive and 2 with either OM-S or ethanol at day 15. For MGIT, 2 aliquots were tested without preservative and 2 with OM-S at 0 and 8 days. Totals of 48 and 47 samples were included in the analysis for Xpert and culture. With Xpert, using day 0 as a reference, untreated samples stored for 7 and 15 days showed concordances of 45/46 (97.8%) and 46/48 (95.8%). For samples preserved with OM-S or ethanol for 15 days compared with untreated samples processed at day 0 or after 15 days, OM-S concordances were 46/48 (95.8%) and 47/48 (97.9%), while those of ethanol were 44/48 (91.7%) and 45/48 (93.8%). With MGIT, concordances between untreated and OM-S-treated samples were 21/41 (51.2%) at day 0 and 21/44 (47.7%) at day 8. In conclusion, Xpert equally detected tuberculosis in OM-S-treated and untreated samples up to 15 days but showed slightly lower detection in ethanol-treated samples. Among OM-S-treated samples, MGIT positivity was significantly lower than in untreated samples at both time points.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00810-19
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • OMNIgene
  • tuberculosis
  • Xpert
  • culture


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