Molecular detection of rifampicin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: An urban study

Salasawati Hussin*, Srijit Das, Yew Lok Woo, Farizal Nordin, Farizan Zakil, Hadi Razak, Norhayati Jamaludin, Nordiana Ismail, Noor Hamiza Ghulam, Ainilhayati Nordin, Sharifah Azura Salleh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The detection of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) by broth method requires eight weeks. Molecular technique shortens the duration and it is able to detect the resistant gene. The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of using molecular technique to detect MDR-TB compared to broth method. Materials and methods: Samples were collected from 726 patients suspected to have tuberculosis throughout the year 2008 in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC). Growth on Lowenstein-Jensen media were confirmed as Mycobacterium tuberculosis using BDProbeTec ET Mycobacterium and susceptibility testing was performed using BACTEC MGIT 960. The 411bp fragment of rpo gene was amplified and sequenced. Results: Fifty of the 726 samples (6.89%) grew Mycobacterium tuberculosis. MDR was detected in four of the 50 (8%) isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The sensitivity of molecular technique in detecting MDR-TB was 25% with a specificity of 100%. The positive predictive value was 100% whereas negative predictive value was 89.66%. Conclusion: Molecular technique was not an effective screening test for MDR-TB due to the low sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Drug resistance
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular
  • Tuberculosis
  • rpo gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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