Automated detection of bacterial growth on 96-well plates for high-throughput drug susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Fowler P., Gibertoni Cruz AL., Hoosdally S., Jarrett L., Borroni E., Chiacchiaretta M., Rathod P., Walker T., Robinson E., Peto TEA., Cirillo DM., Smith G., Crook D.
M. tuberculosis grows slowly and is challenging to work with experimentally compared with many other bacteria. Although microtitre plates have the potential to enable high-throughput phenotypic testing of M. tu- berculosis, they can be difficult to read and interpret. Here we present a software package, the Automated Mycobacterial Growth Detection Algorithm (AMyGDA), that measures how much M. tuberculosis is growing in each well of a 96-well microtitre plate. The plate used here has serial dilutions of 14 anti-tuberculosis drugs, thereby permitting the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to be elucidated. The two participating lab- oratories each inoculated ten 96-well plates with the standard H37Rv reference strain and, after two weeks incubation, measured the MICs for all 14 drugs on each plate and took a photograph. By analysing the images, we demonstrate that AMyGDA is reproducible, and that the MICs measured are comparable to those measured by a laboratory scientist. AMyGDA software will be used by the Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tubercu- losis: an International Consortium (CRyPTIC) to measure the drug susceptibility profile of a large number (> 30,000) of samples of M. tuberculosis from patients over the next few years.