Objective To evaluate the reliability of the Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT AST) for susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Methods Seventy strains of M. tuberculosis were tested for susceptibility to streptomycin, isoniazid, rifampicin and ethambutol by comparing MGIT AST results to those obtained by the method of proportion (MOP) on Lowenstein–Jensen (LJ) and Middlebrook 7H10 media. The 7H10 MOP was considered the method of reference.
Results The turnaround time for MGIT AST was 6.2 days (5–10 days) and for MOP it was 18–21 days. With rifampicin, MGIT AST agreed for all isolates with both MOP. For streptomycin, MGIT AST and 7H10 MOP agreed for 64 isolates (91.4%); 61 were susceptible and three resistant. LJ MOP and 7H10 MOP agreed for 64 isolates (92.2%); 62 were susceptible and three resistant. With isoniazid, both MOP agreed for all isolates, while MGIT AST and 7H10 MOP had two discrepancies. For ethambutol, MGIT AST and 7H10 MOP were concordant for 66 isolates; 65 were susceptible and one resistant. Both MOP were concordant for 67 isolates; 66 were susceptible and one resistant.
Conclusions Based on these results, MGIT AST is a time-saving method and can be used as an alternative to the BACTEC System. MGIT AST is reliable as far as rifampicin and isoniazid are concerned; however, additional studies are needed for streptomycin and ethambutol.