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Vaccine. 2001 Feb 28;19(15-16):2146-51.

Identification of substrains of BCG vaccine using multiplex PCR.

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Division of Bacteriology, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Blanche Lane, South Mimms, Hertfordshire, EN6 3QG, Potters Bar, UK.


Current methods for determining the identity of substrains of Mycobacterium bovis BCG (BCG) vaccine are labour intensive, or provide only limited substrain differentiation. In this paper we describe a multiplex PCR that distinguishes between M. tuberculosis (TB) and M. bovis and the non-pathogenic BCG strain, and also subdivides the BCG vaccine substrains investigated into seven distinct fingerprints based on six target regions in the DNA. This test is specific, rapid, reproducible and portable and is proposed as a novel test for BCG vaccine control. It offers substantial advantages over the methods currently in use. Using this test we have characterised a number of commercial BCG vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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