Diagnosis of tuberculosis by whole genome sequencing of DNA from sputum

Kayzad Nilgiriwala

Kayzad Nilgiriwala, The Foundation for Medical Research


This research aimed to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) from sputum DNA using  nanopore sequencing for the prediction of strain lineage and drug susceptibility (DST). METHODS: DNA was isolated from 10 randomly selected sputum samples from pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients and sequenced using MinION. Sequence data was analysed using Guppy (v3.4.4), Mykrobe Predictor (v0.7.0), and WIMP. RESULTS: On average 100,000-18,000,000 reads were generated per sputum sample. Strain lineage and DST were predicted with less than 0.2% M.tb DNA in sputum. CONCLUSION: Nanopore sequencing of sputum DNA can be used for diagnosing pulmonary TB and for prediction of strain lineage and DST from sputum.


Kayzad S. Nilgiriwala is a senior research officer at the Foundation for Medical Research (FMR), Mumbai, India. He has diverse research experience in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology. His current research area includes molecular medical microbiology and genomics of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Before joining FMR, Kayzad completed his postdoctoral research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA in the fields of synthetic & systems biology during which he was involved in construction of complex biomolecular circuits.