The 81-bp region of the rpoB gene in 66 Rif Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan was analyzed. Twelve single-nucleotide substitutions in the rpoB gene were detected. The most prevalent mutations were at Ser-531 (52%), Asp-516 (17%), and His-526 (11%). Mutations were not found in seven (11%) of the isolates. Higher mutation rates in 50 Beijing family isolates were found than in other isolates for mutations at Asp-516 (18 and 12.5%, respectively) and His-526 (12 and 6.3%, respectively). The different rates of mutation may reflect the choice of rifamycin analogs.
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