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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2005 Sep;26(3):205-12.

The occurrence of rare rpoB mutations in rifampicin-resistant clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from Kuwait.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait.


Mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in two regions of the rpoB gene were studied by line probe (INNO-LiPA Rif. TB) assay (LiPA) and/or DNA sequencing in 32 RIF-resistant and 21 RIF-susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated from 53 tuberculosis patients in Kuwait. The LiPA identified all susceptible strains as RIF sensitive, and the DNA sequences of the 81bp rifampicin resistance-determining region (RRDR) and the N-terminal region of the rpoB gene from five isolates were identical to the wild-type sequences from M. tuberculosis H(37)Rv. The LiPA identified 24 of 32 (75%) phenotypically documented RIF-resistant M. tuberculosis isolates as RIF resistant, with specific detection of mutation in 19 isolates, whilst 8 strains were identified as RIF susceptible. DNA sequencing of the RRDR confirmed the results for the 19 RIF-resistant isolates and identified precise mutations in five isolates for which specific base changes could not be determined by LiPA, as well as identifying a mutation (insertion 514TTC) in three isolates and no mutation in five of the eight isolates that were detected as RIF susceptible by LiPA. Two of the latter five isolates contained a V146F mutation in the N-terminal region of the rpoB gene and were recovered from patients of Middle Eastern origin. These analyses identified 11 different mutations in two regions of the rpoB gene. The majority of the isolates carrying identical or no mutations in the rpoB gene exhibited unique DNA banding patterns in fingerprinting studies. The occurrence of rare mutations in the rpoB gene, namely insertion 514TTC in 3 (9%) and V146F in 2 (6%) of 32 RIF-resistant M. tuberculosis isolates from Kuwait, is the highest reported so far.

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