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Free Content Evaluation of Roche Amplicor PCR assay for Mycobacterium avium complex in bronchial washing

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SETTING: A commercially available polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (Roche Amplicor™ Mycobacterium avium and M. intracellulare assay–MAC-PCR) designed to detect M. avium complex (MAC) in bronchial washing was evaluated.

DESIGN: A total of 141 specimens from 127 patients with various pulmonary conditions were examined. Results were compared with acid-fast smears, cultures with Ogawa egg medium, as is still commonly used in Japan, and final diagnoses.

RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS: A total of 14 bronchial washing specimens yielded MAC. Six smear- and culture-positive specimens were all MAC-PCR positive. In eight smear-negative and culture-positive specimens, six were MAC-PCR positive. The overall sensitivity versus culture was 85.7% (12/14). However, sensitivity might be over-estimated, as there is a lower recovery rate of MAC with egg-based medium compared with liquid media. In 127 patients, 15 were identified as having pulmonary MAC disease, of whom 13 had positive MAC-PCR in bronchial washing. In the remaining 112 patients, MAC-PCR was negative, which suggests that positive MAC-PCR was not a contaminated result. However, in terms of sensitivity and speed, we were unable to show any additional clinical benefit for using MAC-PCR as opposed to liquid media, in which MAC can frequently be detected in 7 to 14 days.
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Keywords: M. avium complex; PCR; bronchial washing; clinical evaluation

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Infection and Inflammation, Chest Disease Research Institute, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Publication date: 1998-11-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

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