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A molecular test designed to easily diagnose tuberculosis (TB) and detect a drug-resistant form of the bacterium that causes TB can provide much more specific, sensitive and rapid results than currently available TB diagnostics, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. In a test involving 1,730 patients with suspected drug-sensitive or multidrug-resistant pulmonary TB, the Xpert MTB/RIF TB test successfully identified 98 percent of all confirmed TB cases and 98 percent of patients with rifampin-resistant bacteria in less than two hours.

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