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Free Content Spectrum of non-tuberculous mycobacteria identified using standard biochemical testing vs. 16S sequencing [Short communication]

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Non-tuberculous mycobacterial isolates from gold miners were speciated using standard biochemical testing (SBT) and 16S rDNA sequencing. Of 237 isolates tested, SBT identified 126, compared with all 237 identified using sequencing. Of 111 isolates unspeciated by SBT but identified by sequencing, 38 (34.2%) were identified as Mycobacterium gordonae and 8 (7.2%) were new species. Of 126 isolates speciated by both methods, 37 were discordant, with 14/17 M. gordonae isolates incorrectly identified as M. scrofulaceum using SBT. The majority of these were the potentially pathogenic strain D, M. gordonae. Sequencing is preferable where available to guide treatment.

Keywords: Mycobacterium gordonae; Mycobacterium scrofulaceum; South Africa

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The Aurum Institute, Parktown, South Africa 2: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK 3: Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research/Medical Research Council Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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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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