The TDR Tuberculosis Strain Bank: a resource for basic science, tool development and diagnostic services

V Vincent, L Rigouts, E Nduwamahoro, B Holmes, J Cunningham, M Guillerm, CM Nathanson, F Moussy, B De Jong, F Portaels, A Ramsay

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BACKGROUND: The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases recently launched a Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain bank (TDR-TB Strain Bank). OBJECTIVE: To describe the TDR-TB Strain Bank, the characterisation of strains, bank management and the procedure for releasing materials. RESULTS: The TDR-TB Strain Bank consists of 229 clinical M. tuberculosis isolates (single-colony derived cultures) plus five mycobacterial reference strains for purposes of identification. These are available as freeze-dried, viable strains or as heat-inactivated bacterial suspensions, quality controlled for purity, viability and authenticity. Isolates originated from diverse geographical settings and were selected for their resistance profiles against first- and second-line drugs. Low and high levels of resistance were determined by the minimum inhibitory concentrations of isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, streptomycin, ofloxacin, kanamycin, capreomycin, ethionamide and para-aminosalicylic acid. Sequencing for drug resistance mutations was performed on the relevant sections of the rpoB, katG, inhA, embB, rpsL, rrs, gyrA and gyrB genes. Typing using lineage-defining loci of mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number tandem repeats indicated that the most important genetic lineages were represented. CONCLUSIONS: The TDR-TB Strain Bank is a high quality bioresource for basic science, supporting the development of new diagnostics and drug-resistant detection tools and providing reference materials for laboratory quality management programmes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)24-31
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • B780-tropical-medicine
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Tuberculosis
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Research
  • Strains
  • Isolation
  • Culture collection
  • Specimen collection
  • Identification
  • Quality control
  • Drug resistance
  • Mutations
  • Genetic variation
  • Biotechnology
  • Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM)
  • ITM
  • Belgium
  • Europe-West


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