Molecular basis of rifampin resistance in Mycobacterium leprae.
Rifampin is currently the most potent drug used in leprosy control programs. We show that the rifampin resistance which emerged in nine patients with lepromatous leprosy, who had received rifampin monotherapy, stemmed from mutations in the rpoB gene, which encodes the beta subunit of RNA polymerase of Mycobacterium leprae. In eight cases missense mutations were found to affect a serine residue, Ser-425, while in the remaining mutant a small insertion was found close to this site. These findings will be of use for the development of a rapid screening procedure, involving the polymerase chain reaction, for monitoring the emergence of rifampin-resistant M. leprae strains.
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Record created on 2010-09-07, modified on 2016-08-08