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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2000 May;37(1):31-6.

Evaluation of the BACTEC MGIT 960 system for the recovery of mycobacteria.

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Division of Clinical Microbiology, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


We evaluated the BACTEC MGIT 960 system, which is a fully automated, non-invasive, continuous monitoring system for the growth and detection of mycobacteria. Including respiratory and other specimens, 1,742 specimens were processed and inoculated into the BACTEC MGIT 960 and the BACTEC 460 TB Systems, as well as onto Lowenstein-Jensen (L-J) media. A total of 104 isolates of mycobacteria were recovered from all culture systems. This included Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare (MAI) complex and other mycobacteria (MOTT). The isolation rates for M. tuberculosis complex and MAI complex were comparable for the BACTEC 460 (54.8% and 13.5%) and the BACTEC MGIT 960 (51.9% and 13.5%). The overall isolation rate was less for BACTEC MGIT 960 (76.9%) which was due to lesser number of MOTT isolates recovered from this system. The mean times to detection (TTD) for all mycobacteria were 9.3 days for the BACTEC MGIT, 14.6 days for the BACTEC 460 and 21.6 days for L-J. A significant difference was observed when TTD was tested in relation to degree of positivity in smears, with the BACTEC MGIT maintaining the short TTD even with less number of bacilli in the smear. The contamination rates were, 6.4% for BACTEC MGIT, 2.9% for BACTEC 460 and 12.1% for L-J medium. The BACTEC MGIT 960 system shows performances comparable to the BACTEC 460 and seems to be a dependable, user friendly system.

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