Free Content Detection of rifampicin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from diverse countries by a commercial line probe assay as an initial indicator of multidrug resistance [Technical Note]

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The line probe assay (LiPA), a rapid molecular method for detecting rifampicin resistance (RMP r) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, correctly identified all 145 rifampicin-sensitive (RMP s) and 262 (98.5%) of 266 RMP r strains among 411 isolates collected from diverse countries. If used as a marker of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), detection of RMP r by LiPA would have detected 236 of the 240 MDR strains in this study but would have wrongly suggested the presence of MDR in 26 RMP-monoresistant isolates (sensitivity 98.3%, specificity 84.8%). Hence, the reliability of using LiPA (or any other rapid RMP r-detection method) as a surrogate marker of MDR-TB largely depends on the prevalence of RMP-monoresistance in the study population. This approach must therefore be validated in each local situation.

Keywords: multidrug resistance; rifampicin; tuberculosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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