A real-time PCR assay using the LightCycler (LC) instrument for the specific identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTB) was employed to detect organisms in 135 acid-fast bacillus (AFB) smear-positive respiratory specimens and in 232 BacT/ALERT MP (MP) culture bottles of respiratory specimens. The LC PCR assay was directed at the amplification of the internal transcribed spacer region of the Mycobacterium genome with real-time detection using fluorescence resonance energy transfer probes specific for MTB. The results from the respiratory specimens were compared to those from the Amplicor M. tuberculosis PCR test. Specimens from MP culture bottles were analyzed by Accuprobe and conventional identification methods. MTB was cultured from 105 (77.7%) respiratory AFB smear-positive specimens; 103 of these samples were positive by LC PCR and Amplicor PCR. Two samples negative in the LC assay contained rare numbers of organisms; both were positive in the Amplicor assay. Two separate samples negative by Amplicor PCR contained low and moderate numbers of AFB, respectively, and both of these were positive in the LC assay. There were 30 AFB smear-positive respiratory specimens that grew mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT), and all tested negative in both assays. Of the 231 MP culture bottles, 114 cultures were positive for MTB and all were positive by the LC assay. The remaining 117 culture bottles were negative in the LC assay and grew various MOTT. This real-time MTB assay is sensitive and specific; a result was available within 1 h of having a DNA sample available for testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)