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Res Microbiol. 1995 Jun;146(5):405-13.

Identification and strain differentiation of Mycobacterium species on the basis of DNA 16S-23S spacer region polymorphism.

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Hôpital Salvator, Marseille, France.


Amplification of the region separating the genes coding for the two rRNA species 16S and 23S was performed to identify 56 mycobacterial strains, belonging to eleven species: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. avium, M. kansasii, M. gordonae, M. abscessus, M. fortuitum, M. xenopi, M. bovis, M. bovis/BCG, M. africanum and M. intracellulare. Reproducible amplification patterns were obtained with most species with the exception of M. kansasii which showed heterogeneity, confirming the existence of a genetically distinct subspecies within this species. In addition, we used the amplified products as target DNA for restriction endonuclease digestion and RAPD (randomly amplified polymorphic DNA) analysis to compare strains of M. abscessus, M. tuberculosis and M. avium. The discriminatory power of these two typing methods was higher than when whole genomic DNA is used as target. Our results demonstrate that the two-step approach to identification and typing on the basis of the hypervariability of 16S-23S spacer region is reliable, rapid and simple, and consequently could be an epidemiological tool in clinical laboratories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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