Rv1458c: a new diagnostic marker for identification ofMycobacterium tuberculosiscomplex in a novel duplex PCR assay

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We explored the efficiency of Rv1458c, the gene encoding a putative ABC drug transporter specific for the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), as a diagnostic marker.


A 190 bp region of Rv1458c and a 300 bp region of hsp65 were targeted in a novel duplex PCR assay and the results were compared with those for PCR restriction analysis(PRA) using the restriction enzymes NruI and BamHI. Species identification of a subset of the isolates (n=50) was confirmed by sequencing. Clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis (n=426) obtained from clinically suspected patients of pulmonary tuberculosis and mycobacterial (n=13) and non-mycobacterial (n=8) reference strains were included in the study.


The duplex PCR assay correctly identified 320/426 isolates as MTBC and 106/426 isolates as non-tuberculous mycobacteria(NTM). The test was 100% specific and sensitive when compared with NruI/BamHI PCR restriction analysis and highlighted the use of Rv1458c as a diagnostic marker for MTBC.


The duplex PCR assay could be developed for use as a screening test to identify MTBC in clinical specimens in peripheral laboratories with limited resources.

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