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J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Nov;43(11):5670-8.

Direct detection and identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis in bovine samples by a novel nested PCR assay: correlation with conventional techniques.

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  • 1Department of Biotechnology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India. hk_prasad@hotmail.com


Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis infect animals and humans. Their epidemiology in developed and developing countries differs, owing to differences in the implementation of preventive measures (World Health Organization, 1999). Identification and differentiation of these closely related mycobacterial species would help to determine the source, reservoirs of infection, and disease burden due to diverse mycobacterial pathogens. The utility of the hupB gene (Rv2986c in M. tuberculosis, or Mb3010c in M. bovis) to differentiate M. tuberculosis and M. bovis was evaluated by a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay with 56 characterized bovine isolates. The degree of concordance between the PCR-RFLP assay and the microbiological characterization was 99.0% (P < 0.001). A nested PCR (N-PCR) assay was developed, replacing the PCR-RFLP assay for direct detection of M. tuberculosis and M. bovis in bovine samples. The N-PCR products of M. tuberculosis and M. bovis corresponded to 116 and 89 bp, respectively. The detection limit of mycobacterial DNA by N-PCR was 50 fg, equivalent to five tubercle bacilli. M. tuberculosis and/or M. bovis was detected in 55.5% (105/189) of the samples by N-PCR, compared to 9.4% (18/189) by culture. The sensitivities of N-PCR and culture were 97.3 and 29.7, respectively, and their specificities were 22.2 and 77.7%, respectively. The percentages of animals or samples identified as infected with M. tuberculosis or M. bovis by N-PCR and culture reflected the clinical categorizations of the cattle (P of <0.05 to <0.01). Mixed infection by N-PCR was detected in 22 animals, whereas by culture mixed infection was detected in 1 animal.

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