The Inappropriateness of Using Rifampicin E-Test to Predict Rifabutin Resistance in Helicobacter pylori

Tiankuo Yang, Bowen Liu, Junpeng Zhou, Yalin Shen, Xiaona Song, Xiaoqiong Tang, Mohammed Benghezal, Barry James Marshall, Hong Tang, Hong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the rifamycin cross-resistance in Helicobacter pylori, and whether the use of rifampicin E-test strips to screen H. pylori rifabutin resistance is appropriate. METHODS: A total of 89 H. pylori isolates were included. Rifampicin minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were obtained by E-test, while the MICs for rifapentine, rifaximin, and rifabutin were determined by agar dilution method. The rifamycin resistance rates based on different breakpoints were compared. Isolates with high-level rifampicin resistance were subjected to whole-genome sequencing. RESULTS: A wide distribution of MICs (mostly in the range 0.125-8 mg/L) was observed for rifampicin, rifapentine, and rifaximin. Using MIC >1, ≥ 4, and > 4 mg/L as the breakpoints, resistance rates to rifampicin/rifapentine/rifaximin were 60.4%/48.3%/38.2%, 28.1%/25.8%/23.6%, and 15.7%/16.9%/7.9%, respectively. However, the rifabutin MICs of all the tested H. pylori isolates were extremely low (≤0.016 mg/L). Applying MIC ≥ 0.125 mg/L as the breakpoint, rifabutin resistance was nil. No mutation was found in the rpoB gene sequences of the 2 isolates with high-level rifampicin resistance. CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of cross-resistance between rifabutin and other rifamycins in H. pylori. The use of rifampicin E-test to predict H. pylori rifabutin resistance is inappropriate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S479-S485
JournalThe Journal of infectious diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2022


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