Rapid Detection of Resistance in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis: A Review Discussing Molecular Approaches

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 May;9(5):349-59. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-0691.2003.00695.x.


The last few years have seen the development of several molecular designs to search for mutations encoding resistance to antituberculous drugs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most of these are highly efficient for RIF-r detection and are well adapted to search for the most relevant INH-R mutations. In this review, these new molecular approaches are explained and are presented according to the molecular strategies on which they are based. In this sense, techniques based on DNA-sequencing, electrophoresis and hybridization are reviewed and the newer designs based on real-time PCR and microarrays are also included. Molecular methods are sure to transform standard approaches to the issue of resistance in the mycobacteriology laboratory. This will allow laboratories to speed up the performance of resistance assays and provide access to essential information for highly refined detection, follow-up and management of antibiotic resistance in M. tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacology
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Electrophoresis / methods
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mutation
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents