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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008 May;14(5):446-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2008.01951.x. Epub 2008 Feb 22.

Distribution of rpoB mutations among multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDRTB) strains from Thailand and development of a rapid method for mutation detection.

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National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand Science Park, Pathumthani, Thailand.


Since rifampicin resistance is a surrogate marker for multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDRTB), the present study aimed to investigate rpoB mutations conferring rifampicin resistance in M. tuberculosis strains from Thailand, and to develop a rapid, inexpensive and simple PCR-based method for rapid detection of MDRTB. Overall, 267 M. tuberculosis isolates, including 143 MDRTB isolates, were investigated. Isolates of the Beijing strain predominated among the MDRTB isolates (79.1%), but accounted for only 45.5% of the susceptible isolates. Mutations in the rpoB gene were found most commonly at codons 531, 526 and 516 (58%, 25.2% and 9.1%, respectively). A multiplex allele-specific PCR was developed and tested with 216 clinical isolates. In comparison with the proportion method, the method showed 94.2% sensitivity and 100% specificity, and had a 100% positive predictive value and a 95% negative predictive value, which suggested that this method could be useful for screening for MDRTB, particularly in resource-limited countries.

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