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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2000 Mar;7(2):212-7.

Relationship between IS901 in the Mycobacterium avium complex strains isolated from birds, animals, humans, and the environment and virulence for poultry.

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Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, 621 32 Brno, Czech Republic.


A total of 738 strains of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) were examined in biological experiments on poultry by use of PCR methods with primers for detection of the insertion sequence IS901. Serotype strains of MAC from all known 28 serotypes were examined. Further strains were isolated from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative and HIV-positive patients, 6 animal species, 17 bird species, and the environment. Of 165 strains virulent for poultry, characterized by generalized tuberculosis, 164 strains contained IS901, a result which is statistically highly significant (P, 0.01). The remaining 573 strains were nonvirulent; however, IS901 was present in 24 strains. From among 20 strains of serotypes 1, 2, and 3, IS901 was found in 15 strains, only 5 of which were virulent for poultry. The remaining 111 strains, of serotypes 4 to 28, were nonvirulent and did not incorporate IS901. None of the 152 strains isolated from humans was virulent for poultry, including 12 strains which were IS901 positive.

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