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Mutations in genes related to drug resistance in Mycobacterium leprae isolates from leprosy patients in Korea.


OBJECTIVE: Identification of the presence and drug resistance of Mycobacterium leprae is key to the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy in non-endemic country like Korea. The aim of this study was to screen the drug target DNA such as folP, rpoB, gyr, and 23S rRNA of drug resistance strain of M. leprae.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sequences of those genes were analyzed for the 104 bacterial index positive cases out of 171 leprosy patients in Korea using touchdown PCR, single stranded conformational polymorphism.

RESULTS: Twenty (19.2%) cases have shown the mutations in folP gene of dapsone-resistant M. leprae in which three (2.89%) cases were mutations in two genes, folP and rpoB, of multidrugs resistant strains to dapsone and rifampin, and two (1.92%) cases in folP and gyr genes of resistance to dapsone and oflaxacin, respectively. Besides double mutation for folP gene was one case (0.96%) and for rpoB gene one case, respectively. There was no mutant isolates in 23S rRNA gene against clarithromycin.

CONCLUSIONS: This result should leads to a better understanding of the status of multidrug resistant leprosy in Korea and may assist in the rapid diagnosis of drug resistant M. leprae and the choice of the appropriate treatment regimens.

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Journal Article
You E
Kang TJ
Kim S
Lee S
Chae G