Characterization of multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis from immigrants residing in the USA using Ion Torrent full-gene sequencing

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Drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium (MTB) is spreading worldwide. Three drug-resistant isolates were detected in Burmese, Hmong, and Indian immigrants currently residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Ion Torrent full-gene sequencing and complete genetic analysis was performed within 5 days and compared to results from traditional drug sensitivity testing (DST). Genetic characterization of seven, full-length resistance-associated genes revealed two MDR and one highly resistant strain with important drug-resistant mutations that were confirmed by traditional DST. The rapid turnaround from sample-to-sequence underscores the public health value of Ion Torrent full-gene sequencing of MDR/XDR genes from epidemiologically significant clinical isolates.

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