A Rapid Drug Resistance Genotyping Workflow for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Using Targeted Isothermal Amplification and Nanopore Sequencing

Academic Article


  • Phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (DST) for tuberculosis (TB) requires weeks to yield results. Although molecular tests rapidly detect drug resistance-associated mutations (DRMs), they are not scalable to cover the full genome and the many DRMs that can predict resistance. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) methods are scalable, but if conducted directly on sputum, typically require a target enrichment step, such as nucleic acid amplification. We developed a targeted isothermal amplification-nanopore sequencing workflow for rapid prediction of drug resistance of TB isolates. We used recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) to perform targeted isothermal amplification (37°C for 90 min) of three regions within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome, followed by nanopore sequencing on the MinION. We tested 29 mycobacterial genomic DNA extracts from patients with drug-resistant (DR) TB and compared our results to those of WGS by Illumina and phenotypic DST to evaluate the accuracy of prediction of resistance to rifampin and isoniazid. Amplification by RPA showed fidelity equivalent to that of high-fidelity PCR (100% concordance). Nanopore sequencing generated DRM predictions identical to those of WGS, with considerably faster sequencing run times of minutes rather than days. The sensitivity and specificity of rifampin resistance prediction for our workflow were 96.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 81.0 to 99.9%) and 100.0% (95% CI, 15.8 to 100.0%), respectively. For isoniazid resistance prediction, the sensitivity and specificity were 100.0% (95% CI, 86.3 to 100.0%) and 100.0% (95% CI, 39.8 to 100.0%), respectively. The workflow consumable costs per sample are less than £100. Our rapid and low-cost drug resistance genotyping workflow provides accurate prediction of rifampin and isoniazid resistance, making it appropriate for use in resource-limited settings.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gliddon HD; Frampton D; Munsamy V; Heaney J; Pataillot-Meakin T; Nastouli E; Pym AS; Steyn AJC; Pillay D; McKendry RA
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 3