Presence of katG gene in resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India.
It has been reported recently that isoniazid resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have lost the katG gene which encodes the catalase-peroxidase enzyme. A 35 mer oligonucleotide probe specific for the katG gene of M tuberculosis, 3' end-labelled with digoxigenin, was constructed and hybridised with DNA extracted from 26 clinical isolates of M tuberculosis under high stringency conditions. Twenty two of these isolates were resistant to 0.2 microgram/ml isoniazid and 20 to 1.0 microgram/ml isoniazid. Semiquantitative detection of catalase did not show any discrimination between isoniazid sensitive and resistant strains. The katG gene was present in all clinical strains of M tuberculosis. Therefore, complete deletion of the katG gene does not seem to be the mechanism of isoniazid resistance in M tuberculosis strains isolated from patients in India.