Detecting antibiotic resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is becoming increasingly important with the global recognition of drug-resistant strains and their adverse impact on clinical outcomes. Current methods of susceptibility testing are either time-consuming or costly; rapid, reliable, simple, and inexpensive methods would be highly desirable, especially in the developing world where most tuberculosis is found. The luciferase reporter phage is a unique reagent well-suited for this purpose: upon infection with viable mycobacteria, it produces quantifiable light which is not observed in mycobacterial cells treated with active antimicrobials. In this report, we describe a modification of our original assay, which allows detection of the emitted light with a Polaroid film box designated the Bronx Box. The technique has been applied to 25 M. tuberculosis reference and clinical strains, and criteria are presented which allow rapid and simple discrimination among strains susceptible or resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, the major antituberculosis agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)