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First report of molecular detection of fluoroquinolone resistance-associated gyrA mutations in multidrug-resistant clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in Kuwait

Noura M Al-Mutairi, Suhail Ahmad* and Eiman Mokaddas

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:123  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-123

Published: 14 April 2011



Nearly 5% of all Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains worldwide are resistant at least to rifampicin and isoniazid (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, MDR-TB). Inclusion of a fluoroquinolone and an injectable agent (kanamycin, amikacin or capreomycin) in multidrug therapy is crucial for proper treatment of MDR-TB. The incidence of MDR-TB in Kuwait is ~1%. MDR-TB strains additionally resistant to fluoroquinolones and injectable agents are defined as extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB) strains and have been detected in >55 countries. Infections with XDR-TB strains have very poor prognosis. This study detected the occurrence of gyrA mutations associated with fluoroquinolone resistance among MDR-TB strains in Kuwait.


Direct DNA sequencing of quinolone resistance-determining region of gyrA gene was performed to detect fluoroquinolone resistance-associated mutations in 85 MDR-TB strains isolated from 55 TB patients and 25 pansusceptible M. tuberculosis strains. For isolates exhibiting gyrA mutations, 3'-end of rrs (16S rRNA) was sequenced for the detection of XDR-TB. Fingerprinting of fluoroquinolone resistant MDR-TB strains was performed by detecting mutations in three (81 bp hot-spot, N-terminal and cluster II) regions of rpoB, katG codon 315 and inhA-regulatory region, polymorphisms at gyrA codon 95 and katG codon 463 by DNA sequencing and by double-repetitive-element PCR for determining strain relatedness. None of the pansusceptible but six of 85 MDR-TB strains contained gyrA mutations. Only gyrA codon 94 was mutated in all six (D94A in one and D94G in five) strains. Three of six mutant strains were recovered from the same patient while three other strains represented individual patient isolates. Fingerprinting studies identified all individual patient isolates as epidemiologically distinct strains. All six strains with a gyrA mutation contained wild-type rrs sequence.


Although fluoroquinolones are generally not used for chemotherapy of TB and drug susceptibility testing for second-line drugs is not carried out in Kuwait, four of 55 (7%) individual patient MDR-TB strains contained mutations in gyrA gene. The data advocate routine drug susceptibility testing for this important second-line drug for proper management of MDR-TB in Kuwait. Lack of mutations in 3'-end of rrs gene that confer resistance to injectable agents reduce the likelihood of occurrence of XDR-TB, at present, in Kuwait.

M. tuberculosis; Fluoroquinolone resistance; gyrA mutations; Kuwait