MTBDRplus for the rapid diagnosis of ocular tuberculosis and screening of drug resistance

Eye (Lond). 2018 Feb;32(2):451-456. doi: 10.1038/eye.2017.214. Epub 2017 Oct 20.


PurposeTimely diagnosis of intraocular tuberculosis (IOTB) along with detection of drug resistance can save many eyes from visual impairment. With the growing incidence of IOTB and rising drug resistance, a reliable diagnostic platform for simultaneous detection of the agent and mutated gene is urgently needed. The MTBDRplus assay was evaluated directly on vitreous fluid samples for the same.Patients and methodsIn a prospective study, The MTBDRplus assay was performed on 127 vitreous fluid samples (77 'study group' comprising cases of presumed ocular tuberculosis and 50 'control group' cases of disease controls (n=25) and non-uveitic controls (n=25)). All samples positive by MTBDRplus assay were subjected to gene sequencing to confirm the mutations for rifampicin and isoniazid resistance.ResultsThe MTBDRplus assay produced a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of 36.36%, 100%, 100%, and 50.50%, respectively, for the detection of IOTB. Among the 28 cases from study group that were positive by MTBDRplus assay, rifampicin resistance was reported in six and isoniazid resistance in two cases. On sequencing of rpoB and katG gene, one case of false rifampicin-resistant by MTBDRplus was found. The other resistant isolates showed concordant mutations between MTBDRplus assay and sequencing.ConclusionThe MTBDRplus assay is an effective tool for the rapid diagnosis of IOTB along with detection of drug resistance, thereby improving the outcome in IOTB.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / microbiology
  • Vitreous Body / microbiology


  • Antitubercular Agents