Variable ability of rapid tests to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis rpoB mutations conferring phenotypically occult rifampicin resistance

Gabriela Torrea, Kamela Charmaine Sy Ng, Armand Van Deun, Emmanuel André, Justine Kaisergruber, Willy Ssengooba, Christel Desmaretz, Siemon Gabriëls, Michèle Driesen, Maren Diels, Sylvie Asnong, Kristina Fissette, Mourad Gumusboga, Leen Rigouts, Dissou Affolabi, Moses Joloba, Bouke de Jong

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We compared the ability of commercial and non-commercial, phenotypic and genotypic rapid drug susceptibility tests (DSTs) to detect rifampicin resistance (RR)-conferring 'disputed' mutations frequently missed by Mycobacterium Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT), namely L430P, D435Y, L452P, and I491F. Strains with mutation S450L served as positive control while wild-types were used as negative control. Of the 38 mutant strains, 5.7% were classified as RR by MGIT, 16.2% by Trek Sensititre MYCOTB MIC plate, 19.4% by resazurin microtiter plate assay (REMA), 50.0% by nitrate reductase assay (NRA), and 62.2% by microscopic observation direct susceptibility testing (MODS). Reducing MGIT rifampicin concentration to 0.5 µg/ml, and/or increasing incubation time, enhanced detection of disputed mutations from 5.7% to at least 65.7%, particularly for mutation I491F (from 0.0 to 75.0%). Compared with MGIT at standard pre-set time with 0.25 µg/ml ECOFF as breakpoint, we found a statistically significant increase in the ability of MGIT to resolve disputed mutants and WT strains at extended incubation period of 15 and 21 days, with 0.5 µg/ml and 1 µg/ml ECOFF respectively. MODS detected 75.0% of the I491F strains and NRA 62.5%, while it was predictably missed by all molecular assays. Xpert MTB/RIF, Xpert Ultra, and GenoscholarTB-NTM + MDRTB detected all mutations within the 81 bp RR determining region. Only GenoType MTBDRplus version 2 missed mutation L430P in 2 of 11 strains. Phenotypic and genotypic DSTs varied greatly in detecting occult rifampicin resistance. None of these methods detected all disputed mutations without misclassifying wild-type strains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11826
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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