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Int J Med Microbiol. 2010 Nov;300(7):489-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2010.04.019. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Unequal distribution of resistance-conferring mutations among Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium africanum strains from Ghana.

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Research Centre Borstel, National Reference Centre for Mycobacteria, Borstel, Germany.


Isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RMP) resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) isolates are mainly based on mutations in a limited number of genes. However, mutation frequencies vary in different mycobacterial populations. In this work, we analyzed the distribution of resistance-associated mutations in M. tuberculosis and M. africanum strains from Ghana, West Africa. The distribution of mutations in katG, fabG1-inhA, ahpC, and rpoB was determined by DNA sequencing in 217 INH-resistant (INH(r)) and 45 multidrug-resistant (MDR) MTC strains isolated in Ghana from 2001 to 2004. A total of 247 out of 262 strains investigated (94.3%) carried a mutation in katG (72.5%), fabG1-inhA (25.1%), or ahpC (6.5%), respectively. M. tuberculosis strains mainly had katG 315 mutations (80.1%), whereas this proportion was significantly lower in M. africanum West-African 1 (WA1) strains (43.1%; p<0.05). In contrast, WA1 strains showed more mutations in the fabG1-inhA region (39.2%, p<0.05) compared to M. tuberculosis strains (20.9%). In 44 of 45 MDR strains (97.8%) mutations in the 81-bp core region of the rpoB gene could be verified. Additionally, DNA sequencing revealed that 5 RMP-susceptible strains also showed mutations in the rpoB hotspot region. In conclusion, although principally the same genes were affected in INH(r)M. tuberculosis and M. africanum strains, disequilibrium in the distribution of mutations conferring resistance was verified that might influence the efficiency of molecular tests for determination of resistance.

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