Direct colorimetric assay for rapid detection of rifampin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Getahun Abate, Abraham Aseffa, Alemayehu Selassie, Solomon Goshu, Bekele Fekade, Dawit WoldeMeskal, Håkan Miörner

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The colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was standardized for direct detection of rifampin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in sputum samples. The sensitivity and specificity of the direct MTT assay matched those of the standard indirect susceptibility assay on 7H10 medium, and interpretable results were obtained for 98.5% of the samples within 2 weeks. Traditional methods of in vitro drug susceptibility testing are time consuming and laborious. Susceptibility tests on clinical isolates require 6 to 9 weeks, and tests conducted directly on smear-positive samples take about 3 weeks (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, The public health service national tuberculosis reference laboratory and the national laboratory network. Minimum requirements, role and operation in a low-income country, Paris, France, 1998, and P. T. Kent and G. P. Kubica, Public health mycobacteriology. A guide for the level III laboratory, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga., 1985). More-rapid methods are available but are very expensive for routine use under program conditions in countries with high levels of tuberculosis endemicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology in the medical area


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