Rapid and economical drug resistance profiling with Nanopore MinION for clinical specimens with low bacillary burden of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

BMC Res Notes. 2020 Sep 18;13(1):444. doi: 10.1186/s13104-020-05287-9.


Objective: We designed and tested a Nanopore sequencing panel for direct tuberculosis drug resistance profiling. The panel targeted 10 resistance-associated loci. We assessed the feasibility of amplifying and sequencing these loci from 23 clinical specimens with low bacillary burden.

Results: At least 8 loci were successfully amplified from the majority for predicting first- and second-line drug resistance (14/23, 60.87%), and the 12 specimens yielding all 10 targets were sequenced with Nanopore MinION and Illumina MiSeq. MinION sequencing data was corrected by Nanopolish and recurrent variants were filtered. A total of 67,082 bases across all consensus sequences were analyzed, with 67,019 bases called by both MinION and MiSeq as wildtype. For the 41 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) called by MiSeq with 100% variant allelic frequency (VAF), 39 (95.1%) were called by MinION. For the 22 mixed bases called by MiSeq, a SNV with the highest VAF (70%) was called by MinION. With short assay time, reasonable reagent cost as well as continuously improving sequencing chemistry and signal correction pipelines, this Nanopore method can be a viable option for direct tuberculosis drug resistance profiling in the near future.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Illumina MiSeq; MDR-TB; NGS; Nanopore MinION; Tuberculosis; XDR-TB; Xpert MTB/RIF.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistance
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis* / genetics
  • Nanopores*
  • Tuberculosis* / drug therapy