Drug susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to fluoroquinolones: first experience with a quality control panel in the Nordic-Baltic collaboration

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2003 Sep;7(9):899-902.


In the first attempt to establish a quality assurance programme for susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to fluoroquinolones, 20 strains with different fluoroquinolone susceptibility patterns were distributed by the Supranational Reference Laboratory in Stockholm to the other mycobacterial reference laboratories of the Nordic and Baltic countries. Susceptibility testing to fluoroquinolones was performed according to routine procedures in each laboratory. Results were compared to sequence analysis of the gyrA gene and minimal inhibitory concentration determination. Most laboratories found identical susceptibility patterns. The two resistant strains were correctly identified by all laboratories, but three laboratories each falsely reported one susceptible strain as resistant. These results indicate that the participating laboratories yield reliable results in detection of fluoroquinolone-resistant strains, although the need for a standardised quality assurance programme for drug susceptibility testing for fluoroquinolones is stressed by the strains falsely reported as resistant.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacology*
  • Baltic States
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Fluoroquinolones / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Laboratories
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity*
  • Norway
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sweden
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones