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Free Content Recovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from Löwenstein-Jensen media contaminated with other organisms [Technical note]

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Growth of contaminating organisms along with Mycobacterium tuberculosis on Löwenstein-Jensen (LJ) medium is common. However, there is no documented evidence on the decontamination procedure adopted in mycobacteriology laboratories to recover M. tuberculosis from the contaminants grown on LJ medium. At the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, of 1048 LJ slopes with M. tuberculosis received from intermediate reference laboratories, 98 (9%) were contaminated. Of these, 87 (89%) M. tuberculosis cultures were retrieved after decontamination with 1% cetrimide. The use of cetrimide as a decontaminating agent to retrieve M. tuberculosis cultures grown with contaminants is documented.

Keywords: Löwenstein-Jensen; M. tuberculosis; cetrimide; decontamination

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetput, Chennai, India

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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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.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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