• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jcmPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJCM ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Clin Microbiol. Jul 1993; 31(7): 1759–1763.
PMCID: PMC265627

Routine application of high-performance liquid chromatography for identification of mycobacteria.


Mycolic acid analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was introduced in our laboratory as the routine technique for identifying all clinical isolates of mycobacteria referred to us. HPLC identified 96.1% of the 1,103 strains analyzed, whereas the biochemical procedures and/or the commercial DNA probes identified 98.3% of strains, for an overall agreement of 94.4%. Compared with the probes, there was 100% specificity and 98.9% sensitivity for Mycobacterium tuberculosis identification. HPLC allowed early detection and identification of the rare mycobacterial species M. haemophilum, M. malmoense, M. shimoidei, and M. fallax as well as uncharacteristic strains of M. simiae. After 18 months of routine use, HPLC proved to be reliable, easy to perform, rapid, and less costly than other identification methods.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (967K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Butler WR, Ahearn DG, Kilburn JO. High-performance liquid chromatography of mycolic acids as a tool in the identification of Corynebacterium, Nocardia, Rhodococcus, and Mycobacterium species. J Clin Microbiol. 1986 Jan;23(1):182–185. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Butler WR, Jost KC, Jr, Kilburn JO. Identification of mycobacteria by high-performance liquid chromatography. J Clin Microbiol. 1991 Nov;29(11):2468–2472. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Butler WR, Kilburn JO. Identification of major slowly growing pathogenic mycobacteria and Mycobacterium gordonae by high-performance liquid chromatography of their mycolic acids. J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Jan;26(1):50–53. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Butler WR, Kilburn JO. High-performance liquid chromatography patterns of mycolic acids as criteria for identification of Mycobacterium chelonae, Mycobacterium fortuitum, and Mycobacterium smegmatis. J Clin Microbiol. 1990 Sep;28(9):2094–2098. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Butler WR, Kilburn JO, Kubica GP. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of mycolic acids as an aid in laboratory identification of Rhodococcus and Nocardia species. J Clin Microbiol. 1987 Nov;25(11):2126–2131. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Butler WR, Thibert L, Kilburn JO. Identification of Mycobacterium avium complex strains and some similar species by high-performance liquid chromatography. J Clin Microbiol. 1992 Oct;30(10):2698–2704. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cage GD. High-performance liquid chromatography patterns of Mycobacterium gordonae mycolic acids. J Clin Microbiol. 1992 Sep;30(9):2402–2407. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Daffé M, Lanéelle MA, Asselineau C, Lévy-Frébault V, David H. Intérêt taxonomique des acides gras des mycobactéries: proposition d'une méthode d'analyse. Ann Microbiol (Paris) 1983 Sep-Oct;134B(2):241–256. [PubMed]
  • Floyd MM, Silcox VA, Jones WD, Jr, Butler WR, Kilburn JO. Separation of Mycobacterium bovis BCG from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis by using high-performance liquid chromatography of mycolic acids. J Clin Microbiol. 1992 May;30(5):1327–1330. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kusunoki S, Ezaki T. Proposal of Mycobacterium peregrinum sp. nov., nom. rev., and elevation of Mycobacterium chelonae subsp. abscessus (Kubica et al.) to species status: Mycobacterium abscessus comb. nov. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1992 Apr;42(2):240–245. [PubMed]
  • Lévy-Frébault V, Goh KS, David HL. Mycolic acid analysis for clinical identification of Mycobacterium avium and related mycobacteria. J Clin Microbiol. 1986 Nov;24(5):835–839. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ridderhof JC, Wallace RJ, Jr, Kilburn JO, Butler WR, Warren NG, Tsukamura M, Steele LC, Wong ES. Chronic tenosynovitis of the hand due to Mycobacterium nonchromogenicum: use of high-performance liquid chromatography for identification of isolates. Rev Infect Dis. 1991 Sep-Oct;13(5):857–864. [PubMed]
  • Silcox VA, Good RC, Floyd MM. Identification of clinically significant Mycobacterium fortuitum complex isolates. J Clin Microbiol. 1981 Dec;14(6):686–691. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wayne LG, Good RC, Krichevsky MI, Blacklock Z, David HL, Dawson D, Gross W, Hawkins J, Levy-Frebault VV, McManus C, et al. Fourth report of the cooperative, open-ended study of slowly growing mycobacteria by the International Working Group on Mycobacterial Taxonomy. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1991 Oct;41(4):463–472. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Clinical Microbiology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...