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Characterization of Mycobacterium avium complex related mycobacteria isolated from an African environment and patients with AIDS

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Thirteen isolates from African AIDS patients and from the environment in Zaire were identified as members of the Mycobacterium avium complex by phenotypic tests. RFLP analysis showed that the isolates belong to a genetically homogeneous cluster. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis suggests a close relationship with the P‐49 strain (ATCC 35847), a reference strain for the serotype 7 of M. avium complex. This work shows the close relationship between certain M. avium complex strains responsible for disseminated infection in AIDS patients and M. avium complex strains isolated from the environment in Zaire. Further, our findings confirm that atypical mycobacteria may disseminate in AIDS patients in Africa and suggest that infection in these patients probably originates in their environment.
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Keywords: 16S rRNA; AIDS; Africa; MAC; Mycobacterium intracellulare

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Mycobacteriology Unit, Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine ‘Prince Leopold’, Antwerpen, Belgium, 2: Molecular Microbiology Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, 3: Centre for Public Health Sciences, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: 1997-02-01

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