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J Clin Microbiol. 1994 Apr;32(4):1095-8.

Characterization by automated DNA sequencing of mutations in the gene (rpoB) encoding the RNA polymerase beta subunit in rifampin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains from New York City and Texas.

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Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


Automated DNA sequencing was used to characterize mutations associated with rifampin resistance in a 69-bp region of the gene, rpoB, encoding the beta subunit of RNA polymerase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The data confirmed that greater than 90% of rifampin-resistant strains have sequence alterations in this region and showed that most are missense mutations. The analysis also identified several mutant rpoB alleles not previously associated with resistant organisms and one short region of rpoB that had an unusually high frequency of insertions and deletions. Although many strains with an identical IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism pattern have the same variant rpoB allele, some do not, a result that suggests the occurrence of evolutionary divergence at the clone level.

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