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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1992 Sep;11(9):797-803.

Rapid detection of tuberculous and non-tuberculous mycobacteria by polymerase chain reaction amplification of a 162 bp DNA fragment from antigen 85.

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Institut Pasteur du Brabant, Department of Bacteriological Analysis, Tuberculosis and Mycobacteria, Brussels, Belgium.


A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for detection of mycobacteria using amplification of a 162 bp region of the genes coding for the mycobacterial antigen 85 complex. Strains belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex were further differentiated from non-tuberculous mycobacteria by hybridization of the PCR derived Southern blot with an internal oligonucleotide probe and washing under stringent conditions. The method allowed rapid and sensitive detection of mycobacterial DNA in uncultured clinical samples. PCR results obtained for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 206 specimens from 180 untreated patients gave a sensitivity of 93.9% and a specificity of 94.3% compared with the culture. PCR detected DNA from Mycobacterium tuberculosis in seven samples from patients with clinically evident tuberculosis in whom culture was negative. The results suggest that this PCR assay could be used for early and specific diagnosis of tuberculosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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