JOURNAL ARTICLE

Restriction enzyme analysis of the hsp65 gene in clinical isolates from patients suspected of having pulmonary tuberculosis in Teresina, Brazil

Maria das Graças Motta E Bona, Maria José Soares Leal, Liline Maria Soares Martins, Raimundo Nonato da Silva, José Adail Fonseca de Castro, Semiramis Jamil Hadad do Monte
Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia: Publicaça̋o Oficial da Sociedade Brasileira de Pneumologia e Tisilogia 2011, 37 (5): 628-35
22042395

OBJECTIVE: To identify mycobacterial species in the sputum of patients suspected of having pulmonary tuberculosis and to determine the impact that the acquisition of this knowledge has on the therapeutic approach.

METHODS: We evaluated 106 patients suspected of having pulmonary tuberculosis and referred to the pulmonology department of a public hospital in the city of Teresina, Brazil. Morning sputum specimens were evaluated for the presence of mycobacteria by sputum smear microscopy and culture. We used PCR and restriction enzyme analysis of the hsp65 gene (PRA-hsp65) to identify the strains of mycobacteria isolated in culture.

RESULTS: A total of 206 sputum samples were analyzed. Patient ages ranged from 15 to 87 years, and 67% were male. There was cough in 100% of the cases. The predominant radiographic pattern was moderate disease, observed in 70%. Smear positivity was 76%, and isolation in culture occurred in 91% of the cultures. Traditional tests identified nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in 9% of the isolates. The PRA-hsp65 method confirmed these data, showing seven band patterns that were able to identify the isolated species of NTM: Mycobacterium kansasii; M. abscessus 1; M. abscessus 2; M. smegmatis; M. flavescens 1; M. gordonae 5; and M. gordonae 7. All of the patients with NTM were over 60 years of age, and bronchiectasis was seen in 88% of the X-rays. There were two cases of reinfection, initially attributed to M. abscessus and M. kansasii.

CONCLUSIONS: In immunocompetent patients, NTM can infect the lungs. It is important to identify the specific NTM in order to establish the correct diagnosis and choose the most appropriate therapeutic regimen. The PRA-hsp65 method is useful in identifying NTM species and can be implemented in molecular biology laboratories that do not specialize in the identification of mycobacteria.

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