Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713

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Evaluation of a genetic probe (Gen-Probe Accuprobe® system) in comparison to traditional methods for identifying members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

Avaliação de uma sonda genética (Sistema Accuprobe, Gen Probe®) para identificação de organismos do complexo Mycobacterium tuberculosis, em comparação com métodos tradicionais de caracterização

Delurce Tadeu de Araujo Spada, Manoel Armando Azevedo dos Santos, Elisabete A. Almeida, Marcos Augusto, Maria Idemar Pedrosa Albarral, Fernando Augusto Fiuza de Melo

J Bras Pneumol.2005;31(3):219-224

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Background: The appearance of tuberculosis/human immunodeficiency virus co-infection and the growing number of diseases caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria, as well as the confusion that these can cause in relation to emerging multidrug-resistant strains, require more accurate and rapid laboratory results, not only in the isolation of strains but also in their identification. Objective: A comparative study evaluating a new tool of molecular identification, which uses a genetic probe based on the 16S rDNA sequence of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis gene (Gen-Probe Accuprobe® Gen Probe, Inc.), and the classic methodology. Method: Fifty-five Mycobacterium strains, isolated from the sputum of patients treated at a tuberculosis reference clinic, were selected for study. Subcultures were performed in three tubes: one submitted to genetic identification, one analyzed through classical tests (production and accumulation of niacin; growth in the Lowenstein-Jensen medium with the inhibitor agents p-nitrobenzoic acid and thiophene-2-carboxylic acid hydrazide added), and one held in reserve. Results: The probe identified 51 cases as belonging to the M. tuberculosis complex (one associated with M. kansasii) and the other 4 as nontuberculous mycobacteria, later identified as M. kansasii (3) and M. avium (1). Using traditional methods, 47 samples were identified as belonging to the M. tuberculosis complex, 4 were classified as fitting the profile of nontuberculous mycobacteria (in agreement with the genetic probe results), and 4 were unidentified, 1 of which presented the exact characteristics that 2 mycobacterium species have in common. Conclusion: The benefits of the molecular biology technique justify its implementation and routine use, in combination with classical methods, in a high-traffic clinic where complex cases of tuberculosis are treated.

 


Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Molecular probe techniques.

 


 

 


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