INNO-LiPA MYCOBACTERIA v2 is a line probe assay for the simultaneous detection and identification of the genus Mycobacterium and 16 different mycobacterial species.
The test is based on the nucleotide differences in the 16S-23S rRNA spacer region and can be performed starting from either liquid or solid culture.
The following Mycobacterium species can be detected simultaneously: M. tuberculosis complex, M. kansasii, M. xenopi, M. gordonae, M. genavense, M. simiae, M. marinum and M. ulcerans, M. celatum, MAIS, M. avium, M. intracellulare, M. scrofulaceum, M. malmoense, M. haemophilum, M. chelonae complex, M. fortuitum complex, and M. smegmatis.
Although more than 70 Mycobacterium species are currently described, relatively few are strictly pathogenic for men or animals. Most are harmless saprophytic bacteria; some are occasionally pathogenic (1-3).
M. tuberculosis complex strains are still responsible for the majority of Mycobacterium infections worldwide. However, opportunistic infections due to non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) [also called mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT) or atypical mycobacteria] are on the increase, as a consequence of the AIDS pandemic (3-5).
Among the Mycobacterium species often implicated in NTM infections, M. avium complex (MAC), M. avium, M. intracellulare, M. chelonae, M. kansasii and M. xenopi figure prominently (1, 4, 6).
M. gordonae does not usually cause human infections, but it is often encountered as a contaminant in clinical samples. Discrimination of M. gordonae from pathogenic species is a relevant diagnostic issue (7).
In general, the epidemiology of NTM infections is poorly understood (8). In clinical mycobacteriology laboratories identification of mycobacterial cultures is predominantly achieved by biochemical methods. Recently developed molecular methods, such as DNA probe tests, may simplify identification and may eventually lead to a better understanding of this complex group of organisms and their relevance in human disease (9-11).
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