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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 177-183

Contribution of putative efflux pump genes to isoniazid resistance in clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Department of Microbiology, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Mandira Varma-Basil
Department of Microbiology, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, New Delhi - 110 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmy.ijmy_26_17

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Background: Isoniazid (INH) resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been mainly attributed to mutations in katG (64%) and inhA (19%). However, 20%–30% resistance to INH cannot be explained by mutations alone. Hence, other mechanisms besides mutations may play a significant role in providing drug resistance. Here, we explored the role of 24 putative efflux pump genes conferring INH-resistance in M. tuberculosis. Materials and Methods: Real-time expression profiling of the efflux pump genes was performed in five INH-susceptible and six high-level INH-resistant clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis exposed to the drug. Isolates were also analyzed for mutations in katG and inhA. Results: Four high-level INH-resistant isolates (minimum inhibitory concentration [MIC] ≥2.5 mg/L) with mutations at codon 315 (AGC-ACC) of katG showed upregulation of one of the efflux genes Rv1634, Rv0849, efpA, or p55. Another high-level INH-resistant isolate (MIC 1.5 mg/L), with no mutations at katG or inhA overexpressed 8/24 efflux genes, namely, Rv1273c, Rv0194, Rv1634, Rv1250, Rv3823c, Rv0507, jefA, and p55. Five of these, namely, Rv0194, Rv1634, Rv1250, Rv0507, and p55 were induced only in resistant isolates. Conclusion: The high number of efflux genes overexpressed in an INH-resistant isolate with no known INH resistance associated mutations, suggests a role for efflux pumps in resistance to this antituberculous agent, with the role of Rv0194 and Rv0507 in INH resistance being reported for the first time.

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