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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 May;69(5):1205-10. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt535. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

Phylogenetic polymorphisms in antibiotic resistance genes of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

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Molecular Mycobacteriology, Borstel, Germany.



Sequence analysis of known antibiotic resistance genes of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) is increasingly being used to infer phenotypic resistance to a variety of antibiotics. However, a clear understanding of the genotype-phenotype relationship is required to interpret genotypic susceptibility results accurately. In this context, it is particularly important to distinguish phylogenetically informative neutral polymorphisms from true resistance-conferring mutations.


Using a collection of 71 strains that encompasses all major MTBC genotypes, we mapped the genetic diversity in 18 genes that are known to be involved or were previously implicated in antibiotic resistance to eight current as well as two novel antibiotics. This included bedaquiline, capreomycin, ethambutol, fluoroquinolones, isoniazid, PA-824, para-aminosalicylic acid, prothionamide, rifampicin and streptomycin. Moreover, we included data from one of our prior studies that focused on two of the three known pyrazinamide resistance genes.


We found 58 phylogenetic polymorphisms that were markers for the genotypes M. tuberculosis Beijing, Haarlem, Latin American-Mediterranean (LAM), East African Indian (EAI), Delhi/Central Asian (CAS), Ghana, Turkey (Tur), Uganda I and II, Ural and X-type, as well as for Mycobacterium africanum genotypes West African I (WA I) and II (WA II), Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium caprae, Mycobacterium pinnipedii, Mycobacterium microti and Mycobacterium canettii.


This study represents one of the most extensive overviews of phylogenetically informative polymorphisms in known resistance genes to date, and will serve as a resource for the design and interpretation of genotypic susceptibility assays.


bedaquiline; sequence analysis; single nucleotide polymorphisms

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