Multiprimer PCR system for differential identification of mycobacteria in clinical samples

P Del Portillo, M C Thomas, E Martínez, C Marañón, B Valladares, M E Patarroyo, M Carlos López
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 1996, 34 (2): 324-8
A novel multiprimer PCR method with the potential to identify mycobacteria in clinical samples is presented. The assay relies on the simultaneous amplification of three bacterial DNA genomic fragments by using different sets of oligonucleotide primers. The first set of primers amplifies a 506-bp fragment from the gene for the 32-kDa antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is present in most of the species belonging to the genus Mycobacterium. The second set of primers amplifies a 984-bp fragment from the IS6110 insertion sequence of the bacteria belonging to the M. tuberculosis complex. The third set of primers, derived from an M. tuberculosis species-specific sequence named MTP40, amplifies a 396-bp genomic fragment. Thus, while the multiprimer system would render three amplification fragments from the M. tuberculosis genome and two fragments from the Mycobacterium bovis genome, a unique amplification fragment would be obtained from nontuberculous mycobacteria. The results obtained, using reference mycobacterial strains and typed clinical isolates, show that the multiprimer PCR method may be a rapid, sensitive, and specific tool for the differential identification of various mycobacterial strains in a single-step assay.

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