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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-33

The use of E-test for the drug susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis - A solution or an illusion?

Department of Microbiology, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi - 110 070, India

Correspondence Address:
D Nair
Department of Microbiology, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi - 110 070
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.58725

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Aim: To evaluate E-test as a tool for rapid determination of drug susceptibility against the conventional LJ method focusing on reliability, expense, ease of standardization and performance of the technique in low resource settings. Materials and Methods: A total of 74 clinical isolates (2004-2005) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were tested using E-test for susceptibility to streptomycin (STM), isoniazid (INH), rifampicin (RIF) and ethambutol (EMB) by E-strip and LJ (LJPM) proportion methods. Results: The LJPM method, the gold standard, detected resistance against STM in 16.2%, INH in 40.5%, RIF in 18.9% and EMB in 27% cases. In comparison, the resistance values showed by E-test was 66.67% for STM, 57.14% for INH 71.43% for RIF and 80% for EMB. The susceptible correlation was 90.32% for STM, 73.91% for INH, 93.33% for RIF and 59.26% for EMB. E-test correctly identified only eight of the 12 (66.6%) MDR isolates and wrongly identified four isolates which were not MDR. The overall agreement between the two methods was only 48.6%. Resistant isolates showed false positive resistance observed while using E-strip towards all the drugs. Conclusion: E-strips are not quite feasible as a replacement for LJ-proportion method on a large scale due to high risk of cross contamination, laboratory infection, expense associated with it and high false positive resistance observed to all first line drugs. However, the good correlation observed for RIF between the two methods indicates that E-test could contribute to the role in rapid screening of MDR TB isolates as rifampicin mutations are invariably observed in MDR TB isolates.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04