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Comparison among three methods for mycobacteria identification

Author(s): Mondragón-Barreto Misael | Vázquez-Chacón Carlos A. | Barrón-Rivero Candelaria | Acosta-Blanco Patricia | Jost Jr Kenneth C. | Balandrano Susana | Olivera-Díaz Hiram

Journal: Salud Pública de México
ISSN 0036-3634

Volume: 42;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 484;
Date: 2000;
Original page

Keywords: Mycobacterium/diagnosis | diagnosis | laboratory | chromatography | high-performance liquid/diagnostic use | Mexico

OBJECTIVE: To compare three methods: Biochemical tests, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragments length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), for the identification of mycobacteria, and to perform a cost-benefit analysis to define an optimum identification algorithm. MATERIAL AND METHODS: One-hundred-and-seven mycobacteria isolates were identified by the three methods at Instituto de Diagnóstico y Referencia Epidemiológicos, between February of 1999 and January of 2000 and the results were compared with those of a reference laboratory using the Q-Cochran statistical test. RESULTS: PCR-RFLP was the most rapid and specific procedure but also the most expensive; biochemical tests excelled for identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but were lengthy and expensive for other mycobacteria; HPLC ranked in the middle for price, speed and specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the expected proportion of M. tuberculosis, the following algorithm was proposed: Initially, biochemical tests should be performed; if the results indicate a non-tuberculous mycobacteria, the isolate should be analyzed with HPLC; if results are unclear, the isolate should be analyzed using PCR-RFLP. Isolates showing a previously undescribed PCR-RFLP pattern should be characterized by DNA sequencing.
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