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AbstractM. 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. tuberculosis, 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 laboratories 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 Tuberculosis: 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.

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