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The protein product of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pncA gene is an enzyme that is responsible for activation of the prodrug pyrazinamide (PZA). DNA sequencing of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pncA gene can be used to detect mutations that correlate with in vitro PZA resistance.(1,2) The sequencing result can be available in as little as 1 day after the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex isolate grows in culture, thereby providing a more rapid susceptibility result than the average 10 to 14 days required by phenotypic broth methods.
Detection of genotypic resistance to pyrazinamide by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex isolates
Polymorphisms in the pncA gene that have been previously correlated in our laboratory with pyrazinamide (PZA) resistance will be reported as "Mutation was detected in pncA suggesting resistance to pyrazinamide."
Wild-type pncA or a silent pncA gene polymorphism (ie, no change in the amino acid translation) will be reported as "No mutation was detected in pncA."
New polymorphisms in the pncA gene that have not previously been seen in our laboratory will require additional testing using a reference broth method to determine their correlation with PZA resistance.
According to the literature,(3) 72% to 97% of pyrazinamide (PZA)-resistant clinical isolates carry mutations in the pncA gene or promoter region. However, other resistance mechanisms (eg, changes in PZA uptake or increased PZA efflux) will not be detected by this method.
Correlation of the in vitro sequencing result with clinical presentation is strongly recommended.
Pyrazinamide resistance not detected
1. Somoskovi A, Dormandy J, Parson LM, et al: Sequencing of the pncA Gene in members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex has important diagnostic applications: identification of a species-specific pncA mutation in "Mycobacterium canettii" and the reliable and rapid predictor of pyrazinamide resistance. J Clin Microbiol 2007;45:595-599
2. Dormandy J, Somoskovi A, Kreiswirth BN, et al: Discrepant results between pyrazinamide susceptibility testing by the reference BACTEC 460TB method and pncA DNA sequencing in patients infected with multi-drug resistant W-Beijing Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. Chest 2007;131:497-501
3. Somoskovi A, Parson LM, Salfinger M: The molecular basis of resistance to isoniazid, rifampin, and pyrazinamide in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Respir Res 2001;2:164-168