Novel molecular tests are gaining popularity as a rapid way to detect genetic mutations that render tuberculosis impervious to drugs. Yet, how well these new tests fare in gauging risk of actual drug failure and patient death has remained unclear.

Now research led by scientists at Harvard Medical School reveals that when it comes to predicting response to treatment and risk of dying, molecular tests that detect resistance to a class of TB drugs known as fluoroquinolones may be as good and even superior to traditional drug-sensitivity tests conducted in lab cultures.

Link to full Harvard Medical School release on study led by MGH investigator Maha Farhat.