Molecular evidence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the Balimo region of Papua New Guinea

Diefenbach-Elstob, Tanya, Guernier, Vanina, Burgess, Graham, Pelowa, Daniel, Dowi, Robert, Gula, Bisato, Puri, Munish, Pomat, William, McBryde, Emma, Plummer, David, Rush, Catherine, and Warner, Jeffrey (2019) Molecular evidence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the Balimo region of Papua New Guinea. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 4 (1). 33.

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Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a high burden of tuberculosis (TB), including drugresistant TB (DR-TB). DR-TB has been identified in patients in Western Province, although there has been limited study outside the provincial capital of Daru. This study focuses on the Balimo region of Western Province, aiming to identify the proportion of DR-TB, and characterise Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) drug resistance-associated gene mutations. Sputum samples were investigated for MTB infection using published molecular methods. DNA from MTB-positive samples was amplified and sequenced, targeting the rpoB and katG genes to identify mutations associated with rifampicin and isoniazid resistance respectively. A total of 240 sputum samples were collected at Balimo District Hospital (BDH). Of these, 86 were classified as positive based on the results of the molecular assays. For samples where rpoB sequencing was successful, 10.0% (5/50, 95% CI 4.4–21.4%) were considered rifampicin-resistant through detection of drug resistance-associated mutations. We have identified high rates of presumptive DR-TB in the Balimo region of Western Province, PNG. These results emphasise the importance of further surveillance, and strengthening of diagnostic and treatment services at BDH and throughout Western Province, to facilitate detection and treatment of DR-TB, and limit transmission in this setting.

Item ID: 58945
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2414-6366
Copyright Information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Funders: Queensland Government Department of Science, Information Technology an d Innovation (DSITI), Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM)
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 02:57
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320701 Medical bacteriology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
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