Susceptibility testing breakpoints for Mycobacterium tuberculosis categorize isolates with resistance mutations in gyrA as susceptible to fluoroquinolones: implications for MDR-TB treatment and the definition of XDR-TB

Niward, Katarina; Ängeby, Kristian; Chryssanthou, Erja; Paues, Jakob; Bruchfeld, Judith; Jureen, Pontus; Giske, Christian G.; Kahlmeter, Gunnar; Schön, Thomas
February 2016
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (JAC);Feb2016, Vol. 71 Issue 2, p333
Academic Journal
Objectives: Fluoroquinolones (FQs) are important in the treatment of MDR-TB and in the definition of XDR-TB. Our objective was to investigate how discrepancies in the phenotypic and genotypic methods for antimicrobial susceptibility testing could affect the interpretation of antimicrobial susceptibility test results. Methods:We analysed MICs of ofloxacin and levofloxacin in Middlebrook 7H10 broth (7H10) as well as sequencing of the quinolone resistance-determining region of the gyrA gene and the MTBDRsl assay in 75 resistant isolates, including MDR and XDR strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Results: Among 75 resistant isolates, 27 had mutations associated with FQ resistance. Among isolates with resistance mutations in gyrA, 26% (seven of 27) were susceptible to levofloxacin and ofloxacin by phenotypic testing at 1 mg/L and 2 mg/L. The most common mutation was in codon 94 and these isolates had significantly increased MICs of levofloxacin (2-8 mg/L) compared with isolates with mutations in codon 90 (0.25-2 mg/L, P,0.05). The sensitivity and specificity for the MTBDRsl assay compared with gyrA sequencing were 96% and 98%, respectively. Conclusion: Current critical concentrations may classify up to 26% of isolates with gyrA mutations as susceptible to FQs due to a close relationship between susceptible and resistant populations. These results should be considered while improving clinical breakpoints for M. tuberculosis and may have an impact on the definition of XDR-TB.


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