CRyPTIC: cataloguing drug resistance mutations in M. tuberculosis

Profiling M. tuberculosis strains from 27 countries to reveal causes of drug resistance

Tuberculosis bacteria with a zoom in to represent the bacterial genome and mutations in the genome
Drug resistance mutations in M. tuberculosis. Credit: Karen Arnott/EMBL.

In collaboration with colleagues across the world including EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis: an International Consortium (CRyPTIC) project has generated the world’s largest data resource for the study of drug resistance in TB.

CRyPTIC aims to reveal the genetic causes of drug resistant TB to enable the development of DNA-based diagnostics. Using a new experimental assay, the consortium has semi-quantitatively measured the level of drug resistance and scanned the genome of over 15,000 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) strains from across the globe.

Together these form a unique, rich dataset, which can be used to probe the genetic causes of drug resistance in TB. The end goal is to apply these insights to DNA-based diagnostics, predicting the drug resistance of a patient TB strain to different drugs allowing for personalised treatment.

These data are hosted at EMBL-EBI where they will be made freely available to the scientific community.

Improving TB treatment

“TB currently causes over a million deaths per year all across the globe, and appropriate therapy is dependent on identifying which drugs will and won’t work for each patient’s particular infection,” said Zamin Iqbal, Group Leader at EMBL-EBI. “Determining the genetic basis of drug resistant TB enables rapid DNA-based diagnostics for identifying resistance to drugs, and informing therapy choice. By using quantitative measurements, rather than binary yes or no to resistance, we have been able to discern the fine-scale impact of specific mutations on resistance. In the process, this has generated a huge resource for science which we expect to be used for years to come.”

This work is detailed in nine new studies, covering a range of topics including:

You can find out more about this work in the preprints listed below. 

Find out more 

Learn more in this press release published on the Oxford University website


The CRyPTIC project is funded by the MRC Newton Fund, Wellcome, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This post was originally published on EMBL-EBI News

Source article(s)

Tags: data sharing, database, embl-ebi, open data, tuberculosis


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