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Front Biosci. 2004 Sep 1;9:2086-105.

Laboratory diagnostic aspects of drug resistant tuberculosis.

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Clinical Mycobacteriology Laboratory, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York 12208, USA.


Multi-drug resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are present world wide, and in many areas constitute a serious threat to the efficacy of TB control programs. The most effective strategies to limit further spread of MDR-TB are rapid detection of drug resistance followed by prompt and effective therapy. Routine laboratory diagnosis of drug resistance in TB requires a viable, pure culture of M. tuberculosis. Use of liquid media has decreased the turn around time for susceptibility test results however, because of the slow growth of M. tuberculosis these assays can still take 10 to 14 days. Alternatively, an increased understanding of the molecular basis for resistance to the antituberculosis drugs can greatly contribute to further decreasing turn around time. Based on this information, more precise and rapid molecular testing can be developed and lead to more appropriate and timely treatment regimens. In this review, we discuss methods for, and problems encountered in, performing TB drug susceptibility assays. Descriptions of routine protocols will be followed by recent developments in molecular detection of drug resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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