Next Article in Journal
Potential Intermediate Hosts for Coronavirus Transmission: No Evidence of Clade 2c Coronaviruses in Domestic Livestock from Ghana
Next Article in Special Issue
How Can Operational Research Help to Eliminate Tuberculosis in the Asia Pacific Region?
Previous Article in Journal
Prevalence and Associated Factors of Taking Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy in Sierra Leone
Previous Article in Special Issue
Realizing the World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy (2016–2035): How Can Social Approaches to Tuberculosis Elimination Contribute to Progress in Asia and the Pacific?
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Molecular Evidence of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the Balimo Region of Papua New Guinea

College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville 4811, Australia
Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville 4811, Australia
Balimo District Hospital, Balimo 336, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka 441, Papua New Guinea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Deakin University, School of Medicine, Geelong 3220, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 33;
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
PDF [271 KB, uploaded 27 February 2019]


Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a high burden of tuberculosis (TB), including drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). DR-TB has been identified in patients in Western Province, although there has been limited study outside the provincial capital of Daru. This study focuses on the Balimo region of Western Province, aiming to identify the proportion of DR-TB, and characterise Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) drug resistance-associated gene mutations. Sputum samples were investigated for MTB infection using published molecular methods. DNA from MTB-positive samples was amplified and sequenced, targeting the rpoB and katG genes to identify mutations associated with rifampicin and isoniazid resistance respectively. A total of 240 sputum samples were collected at Balimo District Hospital (BDH). Of these, 86 were classified as positive based on the results of the molecular assays. For samples where rpoB sequencing was successful, 10.0% (5/50, 95% CI 4.4–21.4%) were considered rifampicin-resistant through detection of drug resistance-associated mutations. We have identified high rates of presumptive DR-TB in the Balimo region of Western Province, PNG. These results emphasise the importance of further surveillance, and strengthening of diagnostic and treatment services at BDH and throughout Western Province, to facilitate detection and treatment of DR-TB, and limit transmission in this setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; drug resistance; real-time PCR tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; drug resistance; real-time PCR
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Diefenbach-Elstob, T.; Guernier, V.; Burgess, G.; Pelowa, D.; Dowi, R.; Gula, B.; Puri, M.; Pomat, W.; McBryde, E.; Plummer, D.; Rush, C.; Warner, J. Molecular Evidence of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the Balimo Region of Papua New Guinea. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4, 33.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. EISSN 2414-6366 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top