Resistance to pyrazinamide (PZA) may impact clinical outcome of anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy. PZA susceptibility testing using MGIT 960 is not reliable and little information is available on the prevalence of PZA resistance in Russia. A collection of 64 clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, including 35 multidrug resistant and extensively drug-resistant (MDR/XDR), was analyzed for PZA resistance using MGIT 960, Wayne test, and sequencing of PZA resistance genes pncA, rpsA and panD. In addition, we analyzed 519 MDR-TB strains for susceptibility to PZA by MGIT 960. Sequencing of pncA revealed 17 of 25 (68%) MDR strains and all 10 XDR strains harboring pncA mutations. A correlation of φ = 0.81 between MGIT 960 and pncA sequencing was observed. Mutations in rpsA and panD not associated with PZA resistance as defined by MGIT 960 were identified. We found 1 PZA-resistant strain without mutations in known PZA resistance genes. Almost 73% of MDR-TB strains isolated in Moscow, Russia, were PZA-resistant by MGIT 960 testing of 519 MDR-TB clinical isolates. Further studies are needed to determine the role of rpsA and panD mutations in possible low-level PZA resistance and to identify the molecular basis of new PZA resistance in the isolate without known PZA resistance mutations.
Keywords: Drug susceptibility testing; MGIT960; Pyrazinamide; Resistance; Tuberculosis; pncA.
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