Development of a two-approach plate system for the fast and simultaneous detection of MDR and XDR M.tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) continues being a leading cause of death due to a single infectious disease agent. The HIV/AIDS pandemic and the emergence of drug resistance are compounding factors that hinder the control of the disease. Associated with the problem of drug resistance is the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, defined as strains resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the most valuable drugs in the treatment of the disease. More recently, the appearance of extensively drug resistant (XDR) strains has been reported. These strains, in addition to being MDR, are also resistant to key second-line drugs. Patients, especially HIV patients, harbouring XDR strains have virtually no treatment options. New and improved methods for fast detection of drug resistance are urgently needed. This project will develop a twofold-approach system for the fast and simultaneous detection of MDR and XDR strains based on a rapid phenotypic assay and a genotypic test. Colorimetric methods - which have been previously validated by our group for first-line drug susceptibility testing - will be set up for key second-line drugs involved in XDRTB. The molecular method will be based on a modification of the novel technology named detection of immobilized amplified product in one phase system. This versatile molecular approach   - which in a previous EU project proved reliable and user-friendly for the detection of rifampicin resistance - will be further improved and set up for the detection of MDR strains. The developed tools will be then validated in different settings and prospectively evaluated in target populations. The project will contribute to the currently available tools for rapid detection of drug resistant TB and will introduce new tools for the detection of the recently-described and highly-lethal XDRTB. It will also contribute to our knowledge on the mechanisms of M. tuberculosis resistance to second-line anti- drugs.


Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium

Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Germany

Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Sweden

Lionex GmbH, Germany

Infectology Center of Latvia, Latvia

CorpoGen, Colombia

INEI-ANLIS Inst. Malbrán, Argentina

Hospital Cetrángolo, Argentina


  • Prof Dr Mahavir Singh


    Head of Research Group

    +49 531 6181-5320



There are no results


Helmut Blöcker


Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine (BE)


Funding Agency