The global rise in drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), and especially the significant prevalence of isoniazid (INH)-resistance constitute a significant challenge to global health. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate mutations in prevalent gene loci-involved in INH-resistance phenotype-among M.tb clinical isolates from southwestern Iran.
Drug susceptibility testing (DST) was performed using the conventional proportional method on confirmed 6620 M.tb clinical isolates, and in total, 15 INH-resistant and 18 INH-susceptible isolates were included in the study. Fragments of six genetic loci most related to INH-resistance (katG, inhA promoter, furA, kasA, ndh, oxyR-ahpC intergenic region) were PCR-amplified and sequenced. Mutations were explored by pairwise alignment with the M.tb H37Rv genome.
The analysis of gene loci revealed 13 distinct mutations in INH-resistant isolates. 60% (n = 9) of the INH-resistant isolates had mutations in katG, with codon 315 predominately (53.3%, n = 8). Mutation at InhA - 15 was found in 20% (n = 3) of resistant isolates. 26.7% (n = 4) of the INH-resistant isolates had kasA mutations, of which G269S substitution was the most common (20%, n = 3). The percentage of mutations in furA, oxyR-ahpC and ndh was 6.7% (n = 1), 46.7% (n = 7), and 20% (n = 3), respectively. Of the mutations detected in ndh and oxyR-ahpC, 5 were also observed in INH-susceptible isolates. This study revealed seven novel mutations, four of which were exclusively in resistant isolates.
This study supports the usefulness of katG and inhA mutations as a predictive molecular marker for INH resistance. Co-detection of katG S315 and inhA-15 mutations identified 73.3% (11 out of 15 isolates) of INH-resistant isolates.

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