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Kekkaku. 2008 Sep;83(9):629-33.

[Usefulness of the variable numbers of tandem repeats (VNTR) analysis for complex infections of Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Clinical Laboratory, Tokyo Metropolitan Ohtsuka General Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.



The bacilli which were isolated from a patient suspected of the mixed infections with Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare, were analyzed. The genotypes of M. avium in the sedimented fractions of treated sputum and in some colonies isolated from Ogawa medium were compared by the Variable Numbers of Tandem Repeats (VNTR).



A woman, aged 57. Mycobacterial species isolated from some colonies by culture in 2004 and 2006 and from the treated sputum in 2006, were determined by DNA sequencing analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. Also, by using VNTR, the genotype of mycobacteria was analyzed. [Results] (1) The colony isolated from Ogawa medium in 2004 was monoclonal M. avium. (2) By VNTR analyses of specimens in 2006, multiple acid-fast bacteria were found in the sputum sediment and in isolated bacteria from Ogawa medium. (3) By analyses of 16S rRNA DNA sequence, M. avium and M. intracellulare were found in the colonies isolated from the sputum sediment and the Ogawa medium in 2006. (4) The same VNTR patterns were obtained in M. avium in 2004 and 2006 when single colony was analyzed. (5) From the showerhead and culvert of the bathroom in the patient's house, M. avium was not detected.


By VNTR analyses, it was considered that the mixed infections of M. avium and M. intracellulare had been generated during treatment in this case. Therefore, in the case of suspected complex infection, VNTR analysis would be a useful genotyping method in M. avium complex infection.

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