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Open Access Evaluation of OMNIgene®•SPUTUM reagent for mycobacterial culture

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SETTING: National Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory, Borstel, Germany.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of OMNIgene®•SPUTUM (OM-S) reagent in comparison with a method using N-acetyl-L-cysteine-sodium hydroxide (NALC-NaOH) with regard to mycobacterial recovery and contamination of broth and solid cultures.

DESIGN: Sputum samples from patients with tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases underwent decontamination with NALC-NaOH-based (MycoDDR™) or OM-S reagent. The decontamination procedure was assigned by block randomisation. Samples were inoculated on Löwenstein-Jensen, Stonebrink and MGIT™ (Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tubes). Mycobacterial recovery from samples spiked with Mycobacterium tuberculosis following decontamination was determined.

RESULTS: Eighty-five samples were randomised to NALC-NaOH and 84 to OM-S reagent. Mycobacterial recovery was significantly lower for samples processed with OM-S reagent compared with the NALC-NaOH method across all media types. Culture contamination was lower with NALC-NaOH reagent on solid media (9.4–12.9% vs. 28.6–29.8%). Growth was not observed in MGIT among samples spiked with 10 600–16 800 colony-forming units of M. tuberculosis following decontamination with OM-S reagent.

CONCLUSION: Low mycobacterial recovery, especially in MGIT, observed in the present study suggests that OM-S reagent might not be compatible with the MGIT system. More extensive field evaluations of the OM-S reagent are warranted to demonstrate a significant benefit over currently used methods.
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Keywords: TB; culture contamination; mycobacteria; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory, Research Center Borstel, Borstel 2: Division of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, Germany, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK 3: Division of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, Germany 4: National Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2018

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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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