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1.  Nontuberculous mycobacteria in respiratory samples from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in the state of Rondônia, Brazil 
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz  2013;108(4):457-462.
The main cause of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). We aimed to evaluate the contribution of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) to pulmonary disease in patients from the state of Rondônia using respiratory samples and epidemiological data from TB cases. Mycobacterium isolates were identified using a combination of conventional tests, polymerase chain reaction-based restriction enzyme analysis of hsp65 gene and hsp65 gene sequencing. Among the 1,812 cases suspected of having pulmonary TB, 444 yielded bacterial cultures, including 369 cases positive for MTB and 75 cases positive for NTM. Within the latter group, 14 species were identified as Mycobacterium abscessus, Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium intracellulare, Mycobacterium gilvum, Mycobacterium gordonae, Mycobacterium asiaticum, Mycobacterium tusciae, Mycobacterium porcinum, Mycobacterium novocastrense, Mycobacterium simiae, Mycobacterium szulgai, Mycobacterium phlei and Mycobacterium holsaticum and 13 isolates could not be identified at the species level. The majority of NTM cases were observed in Porto Velho and the relative frequency of NTM compared with MTB was highest in Ji-Paraná. In approximately half of the TB subjects with NTM, a second sample containing NTM was obtained, confirming this as the disease-causing agent. The most frequently observed NTM species were M. abscessus and M. avium and because the former species is resistant to many antibiotics and displays unsatisfactory cure rates, the implementation of rapid identification of mycobacterium species is of considerable importance.
PMCID: PMC3970618  PMID: 23827995
pulmonary tuberculosis; nontuberculous mycobacteria; PRA; Rondônia; Brazil
2.  Performance Assessment of New Multiplex Probe Assay for Identification of Mycobacteria 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(3):1079-1084.
A new DNA probe assay (INNO LiPA Mycobacteria; Innogenetics, Ghent, Belgium) for the simultaneous identification, by means of reverse hybridization and line-probe technology, of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, Mycobacterium kansasii, Mycobacterium xenopi, Mycobacterium gordonae, the species of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), Mycobacterium scrofulaceum, and Mycobacterium chelonae was evaluated on a panel of 238 strains including, besides representatives of all the taxa identifiable by the system, a number of other mycobacteria, some of which are known to be problematic with the only other commercial DNA probe system (AccuProbe; Gen-Probe, San Diego, Calif.), and two nocardiae. The new kit, which includes a control probe reacting with the whole genus Mycobacterium, correctly identified 99.6% of the strains tested; the one discrepancy, which remained unresolved, concerned an isolate identified as MAC intermediate by INNO LiPA Mycobacteria and as Mycobacterium intracellulare by AccuProbe. In five cases, because of an imperfect checking of hybridization temperature, a very slight, nonspecific, line was visible which was no longer evident when the test was repeated. Two strains whose DNA failed amplification at the first attempt were regularly identified when the test was repeated. Interestingly, the novel kit dodged all the pitfalls presented by the strains giving anomalous reactions with AccuProbe. A unique feature of INNO LiPA Mycobacteria is its ability to recognize different subgroups within the species M. kansasii and M. chelonae, while the declared overlapping reactivity of probe 4 with some M. kansasii and Mycobacterium gastri organisms and of probe 9 with MAC, Mycobacterium haemophilum, and Mycobacterium malmoense, may furnish a useful aid for their identification. The turnaround time of the method is approximately 6 h, including a preliminary PCR amplification.
PMCID: PMC87876  PMID: 11230430
3.  Growth of Mycobacteria on Carbon Monoxide and Methanol 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(1):142-147.
Several mycobacterial strains, such as Mycobacterium flavescens, Mycobacterium gastri, Mycobacterium neoaurum, Mycobacterium parafortuitum, Mycobacterium peregrinum, Mycobacterium phlei, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Mycobacterium vaccae, were found to grow on carbon monoxide (CO) as the sole source of carbon and energy. These bacteria, except for M. tuberculosis, also utilized methanol as the sole carbon and energy source. A CO dehydrogenase (CO-DH) assay, staining by activity of CO-DH, and Western blot analysis using an antibody raised against CO-DH of Mycobacterium sp. strain JC1 (formerly Acinetobacter sp. strain JC1 [J. W. Cho, H. S. Yim, and Y. M. Kim, Kor. J. Microbiol. 23:1-8, 1985]) revealed that CO-DH is present in extracts of the bacteria prepared from cells grown on CO. Ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) activity was also detected in extracts prepared from all cells, except M. tuberculosis, grown on CO. The mycobacteria grown on methanol, except for M. gastri, which showed hexulose phosphate synthase activity, did not exhibit activities of classic methanol dehydrogenase, hydroxypyruvate reductase, or hexulose phosphate synthase but exhibited N,N-dimethyl-4-nitrosoaniline-dependent methanol dehydrogenase and RuBisCO activities. Cells grown on methanol were also found to have dihydroxyacetone synthase. Double immunodiffusion revealed that the antigenic sites of CO-DHs, RuBisCOs, and dihydroxyacetone synthases in all mycobacteria tested are identical with those of the Mycobacterium sp. strain JC1 enzymes.
PMCID: PMC141938  PMID: 12486050
4.  Successful Outcomes with Oral Fluoroquinolones Combined with Rifampicin in the Treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans: An Observational Cohort Study 
The World Health Organization currently recommends combined streptomycin and rifampicin antibiotic treatment as first-line therapy for Mycobacterium ulcerans infections. Alternatives are needed when these are not tolerated or accepted by patients, contraindicated, or neither accessible nor affordable. Despite in vitro effectiveness, clinical evidence for fluoroquinolone antibiotic use against Mycobacterium ulcerans is lacking. We describe outcomes and tolerability of fluoroquinolone-containing antibiotic regimens for Mycobacterium ulcerans in south-eastern Australia.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Analysis was performed of prospectively collected data including all primary Mycobacterium ulcerans infections treated at Barwon Health between 1998 and 2010. Medical treatment involved antibiotic use for more than 7 days; surgical treatment involved surgical excision of a lesion. Treatment success was defined as complete lesion healing without recurrence at 12 months follow-up. A complication was defined as an adverse event attributed to an antibiotic that required its cessation. A total of 133 patients with 137 lesions were studied. Median age was 62 years (range 3–94 years). 47 (34%) had surgical treatment alone, and 90 (66%) had combined surgical and medical treatment. Rifampicin and ciprofloxacin comprised 61% and rifampicin and clarithromycin 23% of first-line antibiotic regimens. 13/47 (30%) treated with surgery alone failed treatment compared to 0/90 (0%) of those treated with combination medical and surgical treatment (p<0.0001). There was no difference in treatment success rate for antibiotic combinations containing a fluoroquinolone (61/61 cases; 100%) compared with those not containing a fluoroquinolone (29/29 cases; 100%). Complication rates were similar between ciprofloxacin and rifampicin (31%) and rifampicin and clarithromycin (33%) regimens (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.27–2.99). Paradoxical reactions during treatment were observed in 8 (9%) of antibiotic treated cases.
Antibiotics combined with surgery may significantly increase treatment success for Mycobacterium ulcerans infections, and fluoroquinolone combined with rifampicin-containing antibiotic regimens can provide an effective and safe oral treatment option.
Author Summary
Buruli ulcer is a necrotizing infection of skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans and is the third most common mycobacterial disease worldwide (after tuberculosis and leprosy). In recent years its treatment has radically changed, evolving from a predominantly surgically to a predominantly medically treated disease. The World Health Organization now recommends combined streptomycin and rifampicin antibiotic treatment as first-line therapy for Mycobacterium ulcerans infections. However, alternatives are needed where recommended antibiotics are not tolerated or accepted by patients, contraindicated, or not accessible nor affordable. This study describes the use of antibiotics, including oral fluoroquinolones, in the treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans in south-eastern Australia. It demonstrates that antibiotics combined with surgery are highly effective in the treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans. In addition, oral fluoroquinolone-containing antibiotic combinations are shown to be as effective and well tolerated as other recommended antibiotic combinations. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics therefore offer the potential to provide an alternative oral antibiotic to be combined with rifampicin for Mycobacterium ulcerans treatment, allowing more accessible and acceptable, less toxic, and less expensive treatment regimens to be available, especially in resource-limited settings where the disease burden is greatest.
PMCID: PMC3260310  PMID: 22272368
5.  A Point Mutation in cycA Partially Contributes to the D-cycloserine Resistance Trait of Mycobacterium bovis BCG Vaccine Strains 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43467.
In mycobacteria, CycA a D-serine, L- and D-alanine, and glycine transporter also functions in the uptake of D-cycloserine, an important second-line anti-tubercular drug. A single nucleotide polymorphism identified in the cycA gene of BCG was hypothesized to contribute to the increased resistance of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) to D-cycloserine compared to wild-type Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis. Working along these lines, a merodiploid strain of BCG expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis CycA was generated and found to exhibit increased susceptibility to D-cycloserine albeit not to the same extent as wild-type Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis. In addition, recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis strains expressing either Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis CycA but not BCG CycA were rendered more susceptible to D-cycloserine. These findings support the notion that CycA-mediated uptake in BCG is impaired as a result of a single nucleotide polymorphism; however, the partial contribution of this impairment to D-cycloserine resistance suggests the involvement of additional genetic lesions in this phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3422274  PMID: 22912881
6.  Non-contiguous genome sequence of Mycobacterium simiae strain DSM 44165T 
Standards in Genomic Sciences  2013;8(2):306-317.
Mycobacterium simiae is a non-tuberculosis mycobacterium causing pulmonary infections in both immunocompetent and imunocompromized patients. We announce the draft genome sequence of M. simiae DSM 44165T. The 5,782,968-bp long genome with 65.15% GC content (one chromosome, no plasmid) contains 5,727 open reading frames (33% with unknown function and 11 ORFs sizing more than 5000 -bp), three rRNA operons, 52 tRNA, one 66-bp tmRNA matching with tmRNA tags from Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium microti, Mycobacterium marinum, and Mycobacterium africanum and 389 DNA repetitive sequences. Comparing ORFs and size distribution between M. simiae and five other Mycobacterium species M. simiae clustered with M. abscessus and M. smegmatis. A 40-kb prophage was predicted in addition to two prophage-like elements, 7-kb and 18-kb in size, but no mycobacteriophage was seen after the observation of 106 M. simiae cells. Fifteen putative CRISPRs were found. Three genes were predicted to encode resistance to aminoglycosides, betalactams and macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B. A total of 163 CAZYmes were annotated. M. simiae contains ESX-1 to ESX-5 genes encoding for a type-VII secretion system. Availability of the genome sequence may help depict the unique properties of this environmental, opportunistic pathogen.
PMCID: PMC3746425  PMID: 23991261
Mycobacterium simiae draft genome; non-tuberculous mycobacteria; SOLiD
7.  Membranous glomerulonephritis associated with Mycobacterium shimoidei pulmonary infection 
Patient: Male, 83
Final Diagnosis: Membranous glomerulonephritis
Symptoms: Producting cough
Medication: —
Clinical Procedure: —
Specialty: Nephrology
Rare disease
Membranous glomerulonephritis can occur secondarily from infectious diseases. There are no reports describing membranous glomerulonephritis caused by non-tuberculous mycobacterium infection. However, several cases with membranous glomerulonephritis due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis have been reported. Mycobacterium shimoidei is an uncommon pathogen, and less than 20 cases with this species have been reported. A therapeutic regimen for this infection has not been established yet.
Case Report:
An 83-year-old Japanese man presented with productive cough for 6 months. Computed tomography scan showed multiple cavities in the bilateral pulmonary fields. Acid-fast bacilli were evident in his sputum by Ziehl-Neelsen staining (Gaffky 3). PCR amplifications for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium, and Mycobacterium intracellulare were all negative. Finally, Mycobacterium shimoidei was identified by rpoB sequencing and 16S rRNA sequencing. Urine examination showed a sub-nephrotic range of proteinuria and histology of the kidney showed membranous glomerulonephritis. Antimycobacterial treatment with clarithromycin, rifampicin, and ethambutol dramatically improved not only the pulmonary disease, but also the proteinuria.
To the best of our knowledge, the presented case is the first report showing non-tuberculous mycobacterium-induced secondary membranous glomerulonephritis. A combination with clarithromycin, ethambutol, and rifampicin might be effective for treatment of Mycobacterium shimoidei infection.
PMCID: PMC3869631  PMID: 24367720
non-tuberculous; mycobacterium; shimoidei; membranous glomerulonephritis; proteinuria
8.  Novel Diagnostic Algorithm for Identification of Mycobacteria Using Genus-Specific Amplification of the 16S-23S rRNA Gene Spacer and Restriction Endonucleases 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(3):1094-1104.
A novel genus-specific PCR for mycobacteria with simple identification to the species level by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was established using the 16S-23S ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) spacer as a target. Panspecificity of primers was demonstrated on the genus level by testing 811 bacterial strains (122 species in 37 genera from 286 reference strains and 525 clinical isolates). All mycobacterial isolates (678 strains among 48 defined species and 5 indeterminate taxons) were amplified by the new primers. Among nonmycobacterial isolates, only Gordonia terrae was amplified. The RFLP scheme devised involves estimation of variable PCR product sizes together with HaeIII and CfoI restriction analysis. It yielded 58 HaeIII patterns, of which 49 (84%) were unique on the species level. Hence, HaeIII digestion together with CfoI results was sufficient for correct identification of 39 of 54 mycobacterial taxons and one of three or four of seven RFLP genotypes found in Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium kansasii, respectively. Following a clearly laid out diagnostic algorithm, the remaining unidentified organisms fell into five clusters of closely related species (i.e., the Mycobacterium avium complex or Mycobacterium chelonae-Mycobacterium abscessus) that were successfully separated using additional enzymes (TaqI, MspI, DdeI, or AvaII). Thus, next to slowly growing mycobacteria, all rapidly growing species studied, including M. abscessus, M. chelonae, Mycobacterium farcinogenes, Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium peregrinum, and Mycobacterium senegalense (with a very high 16S rDNA sequence similarity) were correctly identified. A high intraspecies sequence stability and the good discriminative power of patterns indicate that this method is very suitable for rapid and cost-effective identification of a wide variety of mycobacterial species without the need for sequencing. Phylogenetically, spacer sequence data stand in good agreement with 16S rDNA sequencing results, as was shown by including strains with unsettled taxonomy. Since this approach recognized significant subspecific genotypes while identification of a broad spectrum of mycobacteria rested on identification of one specific RFLP pattern within a species, this method can be used by both reference (or research) and routine laboratories.
PMCID: PMC86348  PMID: 10699003
9.  PCR-Based Method To Differentiate the Subspecies of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex on the Basis of Genomic Deletions 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(4):1637-1650.
The classical Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MtbC) subspecies include Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium africanum (subtypes I and II), Mycobacterium bovis (along with the attenuated M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin [BCG]), and Mycobacterium microti; increasingly recognized MtbC groupings include Mycobacterium bovis subsp. caprae and “Mycobacterium tuberculosis subsp. canettii.” Previous investigations have documented each MtbC subspecies as a source of animal and/or human tuberculosis. However, study of these organisms is hindered by the lack of a single protocol that quickly and easily differentiates all of the MtbC groupings. Towards this end we have developed a rapid, simple, and reliable PCR-based MtbC typing method that makes use of MtbC chromosomal region-of-difference deletion loci. Here, seven primer pairs (which amplify within the loci 16S rRNA, Rv0577, IS1561′, Rv1510, Rv1970, Rv3877/8, and Rv3120) were run in separate but simultaneous reactions. Each primer pair either specifically amplified a DNA fragment of a unique size or failed, depending upon the source mycobacterial DNA. The pattern of amplification products from all of the reactions, visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis, allowed immediate identification either as MtbC composed of M. tuberculosis (or M. africanum subtype II), M. africanum subtype I, M. bovis, M. bovis BCG, M. caprae, M. microti, or “M. canettii” or as a Mycobacterium other than MtbC (MOTT). This MtbC PCR typing panel provides an advanced approach to determine the subspecies of MtbC isolates and to differentiate them from clinically important MOTT species. It has proven beneficial in the management of Mycobacterium collections and may be applied for practical clinical and epidemiological use.
PMCID: PMC153936  PMID: 12682155
10.  Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of glycolipid antigens for identification of mycobacteria. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1985;21(4):569-574.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays which are based on species- or type-specific glycolipids antigens and in which rabbit antisera are prepared with homologous strains are capable of distinguishing among serological variants of the Mycobacterium avium-Mycobacterium intracellulare-Mycobacterium scrofulaceum complex, Mycobacterium chelonei subspecies chelonei and abscessus, Mycobacterium simiae I and II, Mycobacterium kansasii, Mycobacterium szulgai, Mycobacterium xenopi, and Mycobacterium fortuitum biovariant peregrinum. The immunoreactive glycolipids can be divided into two classes. Those resistant to alkali, the C-mycoside glycopeptidolipids, are present in the M. avium-M. intracellulare-M. scrofulaceum, the M. chelonei subspecies chelonei and abscessus, and the M. simiae I and II complexes and in M. fortuitum biovariant peregrinum. The alkali-labile glycolipid antigens, the lipooligosaccharides, are present in M. kansasii, M. szulgai, and M. xenopi. In one study, the combination of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and alkaline susceptibility was compared with seroagglutination in the identification of 60 clinical isolates of nontuberculous mycobacteria: 45 showed perfect concordance, 9 could be narrowed to one, two, or three possibilities, and the rest did not correspond. In a second study involving 43 clinical isolates that were untypable by seroagglutination or were autoagglutinable, the results of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and thin-layer chromatography of glycolipid antigens were compared: 21 showed clear concordance. The results demonstrate that enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay is particularly useful in assessing the antigenicity of lipids, and sensitivity, ease, and rapidity recommend it as an adjunct to seroagglutination and thin-layer chromatography for the identification of nontuberculous mycobacteria.
PMCID: PMC271721  PMID: 3886692
11.  Differentiation of mycobacteria on the basis of chemotype profiles by using matrix solid-phase dispersion and thin-layer chromatography. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1993;31(3):610-614.
Because of the rising incidence of clinical mycobacterial infections and the difficulty in identification and characterization of mycobacteria at the subspecies and serovar levels, a technique for differentiation that could be performed quickly and with relatively little equipment and expense was developed. Lysis and fractionation of mycobacteria by matrix solid-phase dispersion followed by thin-layer chromatography were used to produce chemotype profiles of the lipid and glycolipid components of each isolate. Organisms tested included Mycobacterium scrofulaceum, Mycobacterium phlei, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium flavescens, Mycobacterium kansasii, Mycobacterium bovis, 11 isolates of Mycobacterium gordonae, 10 serovars of Mycobacterium avium, and four strains of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. A relative retention (Rx) value was established for each visible band on the chromatographs by comparison with a band common to all organisms tested. The chemotype profiles produced were different for every separate species and serovar sampled. These findings suggest that matrix solid-phase dispersion and subsequent thin-layer chromatography may have the sensitivity and flexibility to characterize and identify mycobacteria at the species and subspecies levels and potentially to identify clinical isolates of mycobacteria that have been difficult to identify by standard means. The technique has certain advantages over current biochemical, immunologic, and genetic methods because it is relatively simple to perform, is inexpensive, and requires a small amount of bacterial sample.
PMCID: PMC262829  PMID: 8458954
12.  Performance Assessment of the CapitalBio Mycobacterium Identification Array System for Identification of Mycobacteria 
The CapitalBio Mycobacterium identification microarray system is a rapid system for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The performance of this system was assessed with 24 reference strains, 486 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates, and 40 clinical samples and then compared to the “gold standard” of DNA sequencing. The CapitalBio Mycobacterium identification microarray system showed highly concordant identification results of 100% and 98.4% for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the CapitalBio Mycobacterium identification array for identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were 99.6% and 100%, respectively, for direct detection and identification of clinical samples, and the overall sensitivity was 52.5%. It was 100% for sputum, 16.7% for pleural fluid, and 10% for bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, respectively. The total assay was completed in 6 h, including DNA extraction, PCR, and hybridization. The results of this study confirm the utility of this system for the rapid identification of mycobacteria and suggest that the CapitalBio Mycobacterium identification array is a molecular diagnostic technique with high sensitivity and specificity that has the capacity to quickly identify most mycobacteria.
PMCID: PMC3256705  PMID: 22090408
13.  Comprehensive Multicenter Evaluation of a New Line Probe Assay Kit for Identification of Mycobacterium Species and Detection of Drug-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(3):884-890.
We evaluated a new line probe assay (LiPA) kit to identify Mycobacterium species and to detect mutations related to drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A total of 554 clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (n = 316), Mycobacterium avium (n = 71), Mycobacterium intracellulare (n = 51), Mycobacterium kansasii (n = 54), and other Mycobacterium species (n = 62) were tested with the LiPA kit in six hospitals. The LiPA kit was also used to directly test 163 sputum specimens. The results of LiPA identification of Mycobacterium species in clinical isolates were almost identical to those of conventional methods. Compared with standard drug susceptibility testing results for the clinical isolates, LiPA showed a sensitivity and specificity of 98.9% and 97.3%, respectively, for detecting rifampin (RIF)-resistant clinical isolates; 90.6% and 100%, respectively, for isoniazid (INH) resistance; 89.7% and 96.0%, respectively, for pyrazinamide (PZA) resistance; and 93.0% and 100%, respectively, for levofloxacin (LVX) resistance. The LiPA kit could detect target species directly in sputum specimens, with a sensitivity of 85.6%. Its sensitivity and specificity for detecting RIF-, PZA-, and LVX-resistant isolates in the sputum specimens were both 100%, and those for detecting INH-resistant isolates were 75.0% and 92.9%, respectively. The kit was able to identify mycobacterial bacilli at the species level, as well as drug-resistant phenotypes, with a high sensitivity and specificity.
PMCID: PMC3295174  PMID: 22205814
14.  Mycobacterial Etiology of Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Association with HIV Infection and Multidrug Resistance in Northern Nigeria 
Objective. Data on pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex in Nigeria are limited. We investigated species of MTB complex in TB cases from northern Nigeria. Methods. New TB suspects were enrolled, screened for HIV and their sputum samples were cultured after routine microscopy. Genotypes MTBC and MTBDRplus were used to characterize the MTB complex species and their resistance to isoniazid and rifampicin. Results. Of the 1,603 patients enrolled, 375 (23%) had MTB complex infection: 354 (94.4%) had Mycobacterium tuberculosis; 20 (5.3%) had Mycobacterium africanum; and one had Mycobacterium bovis (0.3%). Cases were more likely to be male (AOR = 1.87, 95% CI : 1.42–2.46; P ≤ 0.001), young (AOR = 2.03, 95% CI : 1.56–2.65; P ≤ 0.001) and have HIV (AOR = 1.43, 95% CI : 1.06–1.92; P = 0.032). In 23 patients (6.1%), the mycobacterium was resistant to at least one drug, and these cases were more likely to have HIV and prior TB treatment (AOR = 3.62, 95% CI : 1.51–8.84; P = 0.004; AOR : 4.43; 95% CI : 1.71–11.45 P = 0.002 resp.), compared to cases without any resistance. Conclusion. Mycobacterium tuberculosis remained the predominant specie in TB in this setting followed by Mycobacterium africanum while Mycobacterium bovis was rare. The association of TB drug resistance with HIV has implications for TB treatment.
PMCID: PMC3730141  PMID: 23970967
15.  Clinical Features and Risk Factors of Oedematous Mycobacterium ulcerans Lesions in an Australian Population: Beware Cellulitis in an Endemic Area 
Oedematous lesions are a less common but more severe form of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease. Misdiagnosis as bacterial cellulitis can lead to delays in treatment. We report the first comprehensive descriptions of the clinical features and risk factors of patients with oedematous disease from the Bellarine Peninsula of south-eastern Victoria, Australia.
Data on all confirmed Mycobacterium ulcerans cases managed at Barwon Health, Victoria, were collected from 1/1/1998–31/12/2012. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to assess associations with oedematous forms of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease.
Seventeen of 238 (7%) patients had oedematous Mycobacterium ulcerans lesions. Their median age was 70 years (IQR 17–82 years) and 71% were male. Twenty-one percent of lesions were WHO category one, 35% category two and 41% category three. 16 (94%) patients were initially diagnosed with cellulitis and received a median 14 days (IQR 9–17 days) of antibiotics and 65% required hospitalization prior to Mycobacterium ulcerans diagnosis. Fever was present in 50% and pain in 87% of patients. The WCC, neutrophil count and CRP were elevated in 54%, 62% and 75% of cases respectively. The median duration of antibiotic treatment was 84 days (IQR 67–96) and 94% of cases required surgical intervention. On multivariable analysis, there was an increased likelihood of a lesion being oedematous if on the hand (OR 85.62, 95% CI 13.69–535.70; P<0.001), elbow (OR 7.83, 95% CI 1.39–43.96; p<0.001) or ankle (OR 7.92, 95% CI 1.28–49.16; p<0.001), or if the patient had diabetes mellitus (OR 9.42, 95% CI 1.62–54.74; p = 0.02).
In an Australian population, oedematous Mycobacterium ulcerans lesions present with similar symptoms, signs and investigation results to, and are commonly mistakenly diagnosed for, bacterial limb cellulitis. There is an increased likelihood of oedematous lesions affecting the hand, elbow or ankle, and in patients with diabetes.
Author Summary
The oedematous form of Buruli ulcer, caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is less common representing 7% of cases over a 15 year period in a patient cohort from the Bellarine Peninsula of south-eastern Victoria, Australia. In this study, for oedematous Buruli ulcer cases, fever and pain were usually present and investigations showed leucocytosis, neutrophilia and a raised serum CRP. This is in contrast to other forms of Buruli ulcer which are classically painless and not associated with systemic symptoms. As a result oedematous cases were usually misdiagnosed and treated as bacterial cellulitis leading to delays in diagnosis, progression of disease, increased morbidity and increased complexity of treatment. Compared with non-oedematous forms of Buruli ulcer, we found that oedematous lesions were strongly associated with being located on the dorsum of the hand, the elbow and the ankle, and with patients who had diabetes mellitus. This study aims to increase the awareness of odematous Buruli ulcer disease, and improve the understanding of its clinical presentation and risk factors, to aid clinicians to diagnose and treat early Mycobacterium ulcerans infection when managing patients with cellulitis who have been exposed to areas endemic for Buruli ulcer.
PMCID: PMC3879256  PMID: 24392172
16.  Role of GenoType® Mycobacterium Common Mycobacteria/Additional Species Assay for Rapid Differentiation Between Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex and Different Species of Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria 
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) may or may not have same clinical presentations, but the treatment regimens are always different. Laboratory differentiation between MTBC and NTM by routine methods are time consuming and cumbersome to perform. We have evaluated the role of GenoType® Mycobacterium common mycobacteria/additional species (CM/AS) assay for differentiation between MTBC and different species of NTM in clinical isolates from tuberculosis (TB) cases.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 1080 clinical specimens were collected from January 2010 to June 2012. Diagnosis was performed by Ziehl-Neelsen staining followed by culture in BacT/ALERT 3D system (bioMerieux, France). A total of 219 culture positive clinical isolates (BacT/ALERT® MP cultures) were selected for differentiation by p-nitrobenzoic acid (PNB) sensitivity test as and BIO-LINE SD Ag MPT64 TB test considering as the gold standard test. Final identification and differentiation between MTBC and different species of NTM were further confirmed by GenoType® Mycobacterium CM/AS assay (Hain Lifescience, Nehren, Germany).
Out of 219 BacT/ALERT® MP culture positive isolates tested by PNB as 153 MTBC (69.9%) and by GenoType® Mycobacterium CM/AS assay as 159 (72.6%) MTBC and remaining 60 (27.4%) were considered as NTM species. The GenoType® Mycobacterium CM/AS assay was proved 99.3% sensitive and 98.3% specific for rapid differentiation of MTBC and NTM. The most common NTM species were; Mycobacterium fortuitum 20 (33.3%) among rapid growing mycobacteria and Mycobacterium intracellulare 11 (18.3%) among slow growing mycobacteria.
The GenoType® Mycobacterium assay makes rapid and accurate identification of NTM species as compared with different phenotypic and molecular diagnostic tool and helps in management of infections caused by different mycobacteria.
PMCID: PMC3968636  PMID: 24701099
GenoType® Mycobacterium common Mycobacteria/additional species assay; M. tuberculosis complex; non-tuberculous Mycobacteria
17.  A Novel Multi-Antigen Virally Vectored Vaccine against Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(11):e1229.
Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis causes systemic infection and chronic intestinal inflammation in many species including primates. Humans are exposed through milk and from sources of environmental contamination. Hitherto, the only vaccines available against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis have been limited to veterinary use and comprised attenuated or killed organisms.
We developed a vaccine comprising a fusion construct designated HAV, containing components of two secreted and two cell surface Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis proteins. HAV was transformed into DNA, human Adenovirus 5 (Ad5) and Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) delivery vectors. Full length expression of the predicted 95 kDa fusion protein was confirmed.
Principal Findings
Vaccination of naïve and Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infected C57BL/6 mice using DNA-prime/MVA-boost or Ad5-prime/MVA-boost protocols was highly immunogenic resulting in significant IFN-γ ELISPOT responses by splenocytes against recombinant vaccine antigens and a range of HAV specific peptides. This included strong recognition of a T-cell epitope GFAEINPIA located near the C-terminus of the fusion protein. Antibody responses to recombinant vaccine antigens and HAV specific peptides but not GFAEINPIA, also occurred. No immune recognition of vaccine antigens occurred in any sham vaccinated Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infected mice. Vaccination using either protocol significantly attenuated pre-existing Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection measured by qPCR in spleen and liver and the Ad5-prime/MVA-boost protocol also conferred some protection against subsequent challenge. No adverse effects of vaccination occurred in any of the mice.
A range of modern veterinary and clinical vaccines for the treatment and prevention of disease caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis are needed. The present vaccine proved to be highly immunogenic without adverse effect in mice and both attenuated pre-existing Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection and conferred protection against subsequent challenge. Further studies of the present vaccine in naturally infected animals and humans are indicated.
PMCID: PMC2082073  PMID: 18043737
18.  Usefulness of a New Mycobacteriophage-Based Technique for Rapid Diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(7):2867-2871.
A new mycobacteriophage-based technique (PhageTek MB) was compared with standard culture and staining techniques for diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. A total of 2,048 respiratory specimens from 1,466 patients collected from February 2000 to March 2001 were studied by both (i) conventional methods (direct microscopic examination [auramine-rhodamine fluorochrome], and culture in BacT/ALERT 3D and solid media) and (ii) the PhageTek MB assay. This phenotypic test utilizes specific mycobacteriophages to detect the presence of live Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex organisms within a decontaminated clinical sample. Overall, 205 (10%) specimens were positive for mycobacteria (134 patients): 144 (70.2%) M. tuberculosis isolates and 61 (29.8%) nontuberculous mycobacterium isolates (30 Mycobacterium kansasii, 12 Mycobacterium xenopi, 9 Mycobacterium gordonae, 7 Mycobacterium avium complex, 2 Mycobacterium chelonae, and 1 Mycobacterium fortuitum isolate). PhageTek MB was more likely to give a positive result with specimens in which high numbers of acid-fast bacilli were observed on the smear. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of this mycobacteriophage-based technique versus culture for M. tuberculosis were 58.3, 99.1, 83.2, and 96.9%, respectively. PhageTek MB is a rapid (48-h), specific, safe, and easy-to-perform test. According to the prevalence of the disease in the population studied, the test would require improved sensitivity in order to be used as a screening test for routine diagnosis of respiratory tuberculosis in our setting.
PMCID: PMC165270  PMID: 12843014
19.  Computational Approach Involving Use of the Internal Transcribed Spacer 1 Region for Identification of Mycobacterium Species 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(8):3811-3817.
The rapid and reliable identification of clinically significant Mycobacterium species is a challenge for diagnostic laboratories. This study evaluates a unique sequence-dependent identification algorithm called MycoAlign for the differential identification of Mycobacterium species. The MycoAlign system uses pan-Mycobacterium-specific primer amplification in combination with a customized database and algorithm. The results of testing were compared with conventional phenotypic assays and GenBank sequence comparisons using the 16S rRNA target. Discrepant results were retested and evaluated using a third independent database. The custom database was generated using the hypervariable sequences of the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) region of the rRNA gene complex from characterized Mycobacterium species. An automated sequence-validation process was used to control quality and specificity of evaluated sequence. A total of 181 Mycobacterium strains (22 reference strains and 159 phenotypically identified clinical isolates) and seven nonmycobacterial clinical isolates were evaluated in a comparative study to validate the accuracy of the MycoAlign algorithm. MycoAlign correctly identified all referenced strains and matched species in 94% of the phenotypically identified Mycobacterium clinical isolates. The ITS-1 sequence target showed a higher degree of specificity in terms of Mycobacterium identification than the 16S rRNA sequence by use of GenBank BLAST. This study showed the MycoAlign algorithm to be a reliable and rapid approach for the identification of Mycobacterium species and confirmed the superiority of the ITS-1 region sequence over the 16S rRNA gene sequence as a target for sequence-based species identification.
PMCID: PMC1233978  PMID: 16081916
20.  Histologic and Genotypic Characterization of a Novel Mycobacterium Species Found in Three Cats 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(7):2425-2430.
Three cases of feline atypical mycobacteriosis from different geographical regions in North America were characterized by large clusters of filamentous bacteria visible on hematoxylin-and-eosin-stained tissue sections. PCR amplification demonstrated the presence of Mycobacterium-specific nucleic acid in samples of skin lesions from these cases. PCR-assisted cloning and DNA sequence analysis of a 541-bp length of the Mycobacterium 16S rRNA gene generated DNA sequences which were >95% identical, suggesting that the three isolates were closely related. Two of the sequences were 99% identical and may represent the same species. Alignment with comparable 16S rRNA gene sequences from 66 Mycobacterium species and partially characterized isolates highlighted similarities (>94%) with Mycobacterium bohemicum, Mycobacterium haemophilum, Mycobacterium ulcerans, Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium, and isolate IWGMT 90242. Parsimony analysis of sequence data suggested relatedness to M. leprae. Significant molecular genetic and pathobiological differences between these three similar isolates and other known species of mycobacteria suggested that the organisms may not have been described previously and that these cases may represent a new form of mycobacterial disease in cats. We suggest the term “Mycobacterium visibilis” to describe the organism from which the two nearly identical sequences were obtained.
PMCID: PMC120602  PMID: 12089257
21.  Genus Level Identification of Mycobacteria from Clinical Specimens by Using an Easy-To-Handle Mycobacterium-Specific PCR Assay 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(3):614-617.
An easy-to-handle Mycobacterium-specific PCR assay for detection of the presence of a wide range of mycobacterial species in clinical samples was evaluated. The performance of the genus probe was compared with the performance of probes specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium and with that of standard culture. In addition, the utility of an internal control in monitoring amplification inhibitors was studied. Of 545 respiratory and 325 nonrespiratory specimens (a total of 870 specimens), 58 (6.7%) showed the presence of amplification inhibitors, as determined by a negative result for the internal control. Of these 58 specimens, 31 (53%) were stool specimens; other material, even citrate blood after lysis of erythrocytes, did not pose a problem with regard to inhibition of PCR amplification. Eighty-one of the remaining 812 specimens had a positive Mycobacterium culture result. Of these culture-positive specimens, 58 (71.6%) showed a positive result with the Mycobacterium genus-specific probe. Seventy-two samples had a positive result with the Mycobacterium-specific probe but a negative culture result. Of these 72 samples, 26 samples were regarded as true positive, either because the M. tuberculosis- or M. avium-specific probe was also positive at the same time or because other specimens from the same patient taken at the same time were culture positive. The sensitivity of the Mycobacterium-specific probe was 78.5% and the specificity was 93.5%. This study showed that pretesting of clinical specimens for mycobacteria to the genus level with a Mycobacterium-specific probe offers the routine clinical laboratory the possibility of detecting tuberculous and nontuberculous mycobacteria with one test. Furthermore, specimens testing positive with the genus-specific probe can be immediately identified with species-specific probes.
PMCID: PMC104595  PMID: 9508282
22.  Surviving within the amoebal exocyst: the Mycobacterium avium complex paradigm 
BMC Microbiology  2010;10:99.
Most of environmental mycobacteria have been previously demonstrated to resist free-living amoeba with subsequent increased virulence and resistance to antibiotics and biocides. The Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) comprises of environmental organisms that inhabit a wide variety of ecological niches and exhibit a significant degree of genetic variability. We herein studied the intra-ameobal location of all members of the MAC as model organisms for environmental mycobacteria.
Type strains for M. avium, Mycobacterium intracellulare, Mycobacterium chimaera, Mycobacterium colombiense, Mycobacterium arosiense, Mycobacterium marseillense, Mycobacterium timonense and Mycobacterium bouchedurhonense were co-cultivated with the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga strain Linc-AP1. Microscopic analyses demonstrated the engulfment and replication of mycobacteria into vacuoles of A. polyphaga trophozoites. Mycobacteria were further entrapped within amoebal cysts, and survived encystment as demonstrated by subculturing. Electron microscopy observations show that, three days after entrapment into A. polyphaga cysts, all MAC members typically resided within the exocyst.
Combined with published data, these observations indicate that mycobacteria are unique among amoeba-resistant bacteria, in residing within the exocyst.
PMCID: PMC2856558  PMID: 20359345
23.  Oral Immunization with Recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis Expressing the Outer Membrane Protein 26-Kilodalton Antigen Confers Prophylactic Protection against Helicobacter pylori Infection ▿ † 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2011;18(11):1957-1961.
Helicobacter pylori infection is prevalent worldwide and results in chronic gastritis, which may lead to gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma and gastric cancer. We have previously reported that oral immunization with recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis expressing the H. pylori outer membrane protein 26-kilodalton (Omp26) antigen affords therapeutic protection against H. pylori infection in mice. In the present study, we investigated the prophylactic effects of this vaccine candidate on H. pylori challenge in mice. We found that oral immunization with recombinant Mycobacterium Omp26 significantly reduced H. pylori colonization in the stomach compared to inoculation with wild-type M. smegmatis in control mice. Six of the recombinant Mycobacterium-immunized mice (60%) were completely protected from H. pylori infection. The severity of H. pylori-associated chronic gastritis assessed histologically was significantly milder in mice vaccinated with recombinant Mycobacterium than in control animals. Mice immunized with recombinant Mycobacterium showed enhanced antigen-specific lymphocyte proliferation and antibody responses. Moreover, immunization with recombinant Mycobacterium resulted in an increased expression of interleukin-2 and gamma interferon in the stomach and spleen, as determined by reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Our results collectively suggest that vaccination with recombinant Mycobacterium Omp26 confers prophylactic protection against H. pylori infection. The inhibition of H. pylori colonization is associated with the induction of antigen-specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses.
PMCID: PMC3209038  PMID: 21900527
24.  Different Transcriptional Profiles of RAW264.7 Infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and BCG Identified via Deep Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51988.
The Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and BCG effects on the host cell transcriptional profile consider a main research point. In the present study the transcriptome profiling analysis of RAW264.7 either infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv or BCG have been reported using Solexa/Illumina digital gene expression (DGE).
The DGE analysis showed 1,917 different expressed genes between the BCG and H37Rv group. In addition, approximately 5% of the transcripts appeared to be predicted genes that have never been described before. KEGG Orthology (KO) annotations showed more than 71% of these transcripts are possibly involved in approximately 210 known metabolic or signaling pathways. The gene of the 28 pathways about pathogen recognition receptors and Mycobacterium tuberculosis interaction with macrophages were analyzed using the CLUSTER 3.0 available, the Tree View tool and Gene Orthology (GO). Some genes were randomly selected to confirm their altered expression levels by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).
The present study used DGE from pathogen recognition receptors and Mycobacterium tuberculosis interaction with macrophages to understand the interplay between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and RAW264.7. Meanwhile find some important host protein which was affected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis to provide evidence for the further improvement of the present efficacy of existing Mycobacterium tuberculosis therapy and vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3526534  PMID: 23284841
25.  Occurrence of mycobacteria in bovine milk samples from both individual and collective bulk tanks at farms and informal markets in the southeast region of Sao Paulo, Brazil 
Mycobacterium spp. is one of the most important species of zoonotic pathogens that can be transmitted from cattle to humans. The presence of these opportunistic, pathogenic bacteria in bovine milk has emerged as a public-health concern, especially among individuals who consume raw milk and related dairy products. To address this concern, the Brazilian control and eradication program focusing on bovine tuberculosis, was established in 2001. However, bovine tuberculosis continues to afflict approximately 1,3 percent of the cattle in Brazil. In the present study, 300 samples of milk from bovine herds, obtained from both individual and collective bulk tanks and informal points of sale, were cultured on Löwenstein-Jensen and Stonebrink media. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based tests and restriction-enzyme pattern analysis were then performed on the colonies exhibiting phenotypes suggestive of Mycobacterium spp., which were characterized as acid-fast bacilli.
Of the 300 bovine milk samples that were processed, 24 were positively identified as Mycobacterium spp.
Molecular identification detected 15 unique mycobacterial species: Mycobacterium bovis, M. gordonae, M. fortuitum, M. intracellulare, M. flavescens, M. duvalii, M. haemophilum, M. immunogenum, M. lentiflavum, M. mucogenicum, M. novocastrense, M. parafortuitum, M. smegmatis, M. terrae and M. vaccae. The isolation of bacteria from the various locations occurred in the following proportions: 9 percent of the individual bulk-tank samples, 7 percent of the collective bulk-tank samples and 8 percent of the informal-trade samples. No statistically significant difference was observed between the presence of Mycobacterium spp. in the three types of samples collected, the milk production profiles, the presence of veterinary assistance and the reported concerns about bovine tuberculosis prevention in the herds.
The microbiological cultures associated with PCR-based identification tests are possible tools for the investigation of the presence of Mycobacterium spp. in milk samples. Using these methods, we found that the Brazilian population may be regularly exposed to mycobacteria by consuming raw bovine milk and related dairy products. These evidences reinforces the need to optimize quality programs of dairy products, to intensify the sanitary inspection of these products and the necessity of further studies on the presence of Mycobacterium spp. in milk and milk-based products.
PMCID: PMC3650655  PMID: 23618368
Mycobacterium spp; Bovine; Raw milk; Bulk tanks; Public health; Brazil

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