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Phenotypic and molecular characterization of three clinical isolates of Mycobacterium interjectum.

  • R Lumb
  • A Goodwin
  • R Ratcliff
  • R Stapledon
  • A Holland
  • I Bastian
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1997
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Introduction of molecular biology-based technology into an Australian mycobacterial reference laboratory has resulted in the identification of three isolates of Mycobacterium interjectum in the past 12 months. Conventional phenotypic methods failed to identify the species of these isolates, and high-performance liquid chromatography found that only one of the three isolates had a mycolic acid pattern similar to that of the type strain. In contrast, all three isolates were rapidly identified as M. interjectum by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Two isolates were recovered from the lymph nodes of children with cervical lymphadenitis, confirming the pathogenicity of this organism. However, the third isolate was obtained from the sputum of an elderly male with chronic lung disease without evidence of clinical or radiological progression, suggesting that isolation of M. interjectum should not imply disease. With the increasing use of molecular biology-based technology in mycobacterial laboratories, M. interjectum may be recognized more frequently as a pathogen or commensal organism.

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