Investigation into genotypic diagnostics for mycobacterium tuberculosis

Hoek, Kim Gilberte Pauline (2010-12)

Thesis (PhD )--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Diagnostic delay is regarded as a major contributor to the continuous rise in tuberculosis (TB) cases and the emergence and transmission of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). It is therefore essential that more rapid diagnostic methods are developed. Molecular-based assays have the potential for the rapid species-specific diagnosis of TB and associated drug-resistances directly from clinical specimens. We investigated whether high resolution melting analysis (HRM) could enable the rapid diagnosis of TB and associated drug resistance, since the HRM apparatus and reagents are relatively inexpensive and the methodology can easily be implemented in high incidence, low income regions. Application of this methodology allowed for the rapid identification of mycobacterial lymphadenitis from fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) samples in 2 studies. This was done by targeting the region of deletion 9 (RD9), present in M. tuberculosis and M. canettii, but absent from all other members of the complex. However, the sensitivity of the method was low (51.9% and 46.3%, respectively) when compared to the reference standard (positive cytology and/or positive culture). Despite this limitation our method was able to provide a rapid diagnosis in more than half of the infected patients with a relatively high specificity (94.0% and 83.3%, respectively). We therefore proposed a diagnostic algorithm allowing the early treatment of patients with both HRM and cytology results indicative of mycobacterial disease. We developed the Fluorometric Assay for Susceptibility Testing of Rifampicin (FAST-Rif) which allowed the rapid diagnosis of MDR-TB by detecting rifampicin (RIF) resistance mutations in the rpoB gene with a sensitivity and specificity of 98% and 100%, respectively. The FAST-Rif method was easily adapted to detect ethambutol (EMB) resistance due to mutations in the embB gene with a sensitivity and specificity of 94.4% and 98.4% respectively, as compared to DNA sequencing. The FAST-EMB method was a significant improvement over the inaccurate culture based method. We identified a strong association between EMB resistance (and pyrazinamide resistance) and MDR-TB and subsequently advised modifications to the current (2008) South African National TB Control Programme draft policy guidelines. Due to the potential for amplicon release, we adapted the FAST-Rif and FAST-EMB methods to a closed-tube one-step method using the detection of inhA promoter mutations conferring isoniazid (INH) resistance as a model. The method (FASTest-inhA) was able to identify inhA promoter mutations with a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 83.3%. These mutations are of particular interest as they confer low level INH resistance and cross-resistance to ethionamide (Eto). Since inhA promoter mutations are strongly associated with XDR-TB in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa, data generated by the recently implemented GenoType® MDRTBPlus assay may allow individualised treatment regimens to be designed for a patient depending on their INH mutation profile. Our proposed treatment algorithm may be particularly useful in XDR-TB cases, for which only few active drugs remain available. Since current diagnostic methods all carry advantages and disadvantages, a combination of phenotypic and genotypic-based methodologies may be the best scenario while awaiting superior methods.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die onvermoë om tuberkulose (TB), multi-weerstandige tuberkulose (MDR-TB) en uiters weerstandige tuberkulose (XDR-TB) vinnig te diagnoseer, is ‘n belangrike oorsaak vir die volgehoue toename en verspreiding daarvan. Dit is noodsaaklik dat diagnostiese toetse wat vinniger resultate oplewer, ontwikkel word. Molukulêre toetsing het die potensiaal om vinnig spesie-spesifieke diagnoses van TB en die weerstandigheid teen TB-medikasie te lewer. Hierdie studie wil vasstel of hoë-resolusie smeltingsanalise (HRS) ‘n vinnige diagnose van TB en die weerstandigheid teen TB-medikasie kan oplewer aangesien die relatiewe lae koste van reagense en apparaat, asook die minimale infrastruktuur en vaardighede wat vir dié toets benodig word, dit uiters geskik maak vir pasiënte in gebiede met ‘n hoë TB-insidensie en lae inkomste. Die toepassing van die HRS-metode op fynnaald-aspiraatbiopsies in twee afsonderlike studies, het gelei tot die vinnige identifisering van mikrobakteriële-limfadenitis. Dit is bemiddel deur die gebied van delesie 9 (RD9) teenwoordig in Mycobacterium tuberculosis en M. canettii, maar afwesig in al die ander lede van die kompleks, te teiken. Die sensitiwiteit van die metode was (51.9% en 46.3%, vir die twee studies onderskeidelik) in vergelyking met die verwysingstandaard (positiewe sitologie en/of positiewe kultuur). Ten spyte van dié beperking was ‘n vinnige diagnose in meer as die helfte van geïnfekteerde pasiënte met ‘n redelike hoë spesifisiteit (94.0% en 83.3%, onderskeidelik) moontlik. ‘n Diagnostiese algoritme wat gebaseer is op die resultate van die HRS en sitologie-toetse, is voorgestel om pasiënte vroeër te behandel. ‘n Fluorometriese toets (FAST-Rif) is ontwikkel vir die vinnige diagnose van MDR-TB deur mutasies in die rpoB-geen op te spoor met ‘n hoë sensitiwiteit en spesifisiteit (98% en 100%, onderskeidelik). Hierdie mutasies is verantwoordelik vir weerstandigheid teen die antibiotikum rifampicin (FAST-Rif) en word beskou as ‘n vinnige diagnose vir MDR-TB. Die FAST-Rif metode kon maklik aangepas word om mutasies in die embB-gene, verantwoordelik vir weerstandigheid teen die antibiotikum ethambutol (EMB), op te spoor. Die FAST-EMB-metode het ‘n sensitiwiteit en spesifisiteit van 94.4% en 98.4% onderskeidelik getoon in vergelyking met DNS volgordebepaling. Die FAST-EMB-metode was ‘n betekenisvolle verbetering op die onakkurate kultuurgebaseerde metodes. ‘n Sterk korrelasie tussen EMB-weerstandigheid (en weerstandigheid teen pyrazinamide) en MDR-TB is geïdentifiseer. Vervolgens is veranderinge aan die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale TB-beheerprogram se Konsepbeleidsgids (2008) voorgestel. Om die potensiële vrylating van amplikone te verhoed, is die FAST-Rif en FAST-EMB aangepas tot ‘n enkelstap geslote buissisteem deur gebruik te maak van die opsporing van inhA promotormutasies wat weerstandigheid teen isoniazid (INH) veroorsaak. Die metode het ‘n sensitiwiteit en spesifisiteit van 100% en 83.3% onderskeidelik, getoon. Hierdie mutasies veroorsaak laevlak weerstandigheid teen INH, maar ook kruisweerstandigheid teen ethionamide (Eto). Aangesien daar ‘n sterk verbintenis tussen inhA-promotormutasies en XDR-TB in die Oos en Wes-Kaapprovinsies van Suid-Afrika is, kan data van die GenoType® MDRTBPlus-toets moontlik gebruik word om ‘n meer geïndividualiseerde behandeling te ontwerp afhangende van die pasiënt se INH-mutasieprofiel. Ons behandelingsalgoritme is veral geskik vir XDR-TB pasiënte vir wie daar weinig aktiewe antibiotika beskikbaar is. Huidige diagnostiese metodes het almal voor- en nadele, dus bied ‘n kombinasie van fenotipiese en genotipiese metodes moontlik die beste oplossing totdat beter metodes ontwikkel word.

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