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GeneXpert Test

GeneXpert Test is a molecular diagnostic platform used to detect and identify specific pathogens, primarily bacteria or viruses, including. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the bacteria causing tuberculosis) and other infectious diseases. Cepheid developed it, which is widely known for its accuracy, speed, and ease of use in diagnosing various infections.

1- Tuberculosis (TB) Diagnosis:

GeneXpert is particularly valuable in diagnosing TB by detecting the DNA of tuberculosis bacteria and provides rapidly accurate results, often within a few hours, compared to traditional methods that might take weeks.

2- Drug Resistance Testing:

GeneXpert can also identify drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, such as those resistant to rifampicin, a key drug used in TB treatment. This information is crucial for prescribing appropriate medications.

3- Other Infection:

Apart from TB, GeneXpert has been adapted to detect other infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis, MRSA(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and certain sexually transmitted infections with high accuracy and speed.

Procedure :

  • A sample is collected from the patient suspected of having the infection.
  • For TB diagnosis, this is often a sputum sample (mucus coughed up from the respiratory tract).
  • The collected sample is processed to extract the genetic material (DNA or RNA) of the pathogens.
  • This step usually involves breaking open the cells to release the genetic material.
  • The extracted genetic material is mixed with specific reagents and placed into the GeneXpert cartridge.
  • The extracted genetic material is mixed with specific reagents and placed into the GeneXpert cartridge.
  • The cartridge contains the necessary components for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a technique used to amplify and detect the genetic material of the pathogen.

The cartridge containing the sample is loaded into the GeneXpert instrument.

Automated Testing:

GeneXpert performs the testing process automatically, including amplification and detecting the target DNA or RNA sequences specific to the pathogen.


Results are usually available within a few hours, providing information on the presence or absence of the target pathogens.

By Mehfooz Ali

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