The aim of this study was to investigate the performance of a new and accurate method for the detection of isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RIF) resistance among Mycobacterium tuberculosis
isolates using a crystal violet decolourisation assay (CVDA). Fifty-five M. tuberculosis
isolates obtained from culture stocks stored at -80o
C were tested. After bacterial inoculation, the samples were incubated at 37o
C for seven days and 100 μL of CV (25 mg/L stock solution) was then added to the control and sample tubes. The tubes were incubated for an additional 24-48 h. CV (blue/purple) was decolourised in the presence of bacterial growth; thus, if CV lost its colour in a sample containing a drug, the tested isolate was reported as resistant. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and agreement for INH were 92.5%, 96.4%, 96.1%, 93.1% and 94.5%, respectively, and 88.8%, 100%, 100%, 94.8% and 96.3%, respectively, for RIF. The results were obtained within eight-nine days. This study shows that CVDA is an effective method to detect M. tuberculosis
resistance to INH and RIF in developing countries. This method is rapid, simple and inexpensive. Nonetheless, further studies are necessary before routine laboratory implementation.