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J Microbiol Methods. 2005 Aug;62(2):199-209.

PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PRA)-algorithm targeting 644 bp Heat Shock Protein 65 (hsp65) gene for differentiation of Mycobacterium spp.

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Department of Microbiology and Liver Research Institute, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-799, South Korea.


A method based on PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PRA) using a novel region of the hsp65 gene was developed for the rapid and exact identification of mycobacteria to the species level. A 644 bp region of hsp65 in 62 mycobacteria reference strains, and 4 related bacterial strains were amplified, and the amplified DNAs were subsequently digested with restriction enzymes, namely, AvaII, HphI, and HpaII. Most of the mycobacteria species were easily differentiated at the species level by the developed method. In particular, the method enabled the separation of M. avium, M. intracellulare and M. tuberculosis to the species level by AvaII digestion alone. An algorithm was constructed based on the results and a blind test was successfully performed on 251 clinical isolates, which had been characterized by conventional biochemical testing. Our results suggest that this novel PRA offers a simple, rapid, and accurate method for the identification of mycobacteria culture isolates at the species level.

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