Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra (Ultra) detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance. Follow-on drug susceptibility testing (DST) requires additional sputum. Extract from the diamond-shaped chamber of the cartridge (dCE) of Ultra’s predecessor, Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert), is useful for MTBDRsl-based DST but this is unexplored with Ultra. Furthermore, whether CE from non-diamond compartments is useful, the performance of FluoroType MTBDR (FT) on CE, and rpoB cross-contamination risk associated with the extraction procedure are unknown. We tested MTBDRsl, MTBDRplus, and FT on CEs from chambers from cartridges (Ultra, Xpert) tested on bacilli dilution series. MTBDRsl on Ultra dCE on TB-positive sputa (n = 40) was also evaluated and, separately, rpoB amplicon cross-contamination risk . MTBDRsl on Ultra dCE from dilutions ≥10 CFU/ml (C <25, >“low semi-quantitation”) detected fluoroquinolone (FQ) and second-line injectable (SLID) susceptibility and resistance correctly (some SLIDs-indeterminate). At the same threshold (at which ~85% of Ultra-positives in our setting would be eligible), 35/35 (100%) FQ and 34/35 (97%) SLID results from Ultra dCE were concordant with sputa results. Tests on other chambers were unfeasible. No tubes open during 20 batched extractions had FT-detected rpoB cross-contamination. False-positive Ultra rpoB results was observed when dCE dilutions ≤10 were re-tested. MTBDRsl on Ultra dCE is concordant with isolate results. rpoB amplicon cross-contamination is unlikely. These data mitigate additional specimen collection for second-line DST and cross-contamination concerns.
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