Isoniazid (INH) resistance of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MtbC) is associated with both loss of catalase activity and mutation of the inhA gene. However, the relative contributions of these changes to resistance and to the loss of virulence for guinea-pigs is unknown. In this study, a virulent strain of Mycobacterium bovis, a member of the MtbC, was exposed to increasing concentrations of INH. Two INH-resistant strains were produced which had lost catalase activity. Strain WAg405, which had a higher resistance to INH, also had a mutation in the inhA gene. This demonstrated that loss of catalase activity and mutation of inhA had a cumulative effect on INH resistance. When a functional katG gene was integrated into the genome of WAg405 the INH resistance was greatly reduced. This indicated that most of the resistance had been caused by loss of catalase activity. While the parent INH-sensitive strain was virulent for guinea-pigs, the INH-resistant strains were significantly less virulent. Integration of a functional katG gene into the most resistant strain restored full virulence. This clearly established that katG is a virulence factor for M. bovis and that mutation of the inhA gene has no effect on virulence.