Molecular identification of non-tuberculous mycobacteria isolated from clinical specimens in Zambia

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Abstract

Background: The emergence of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome has highlighted the increased incidence and importance of the disease caused by Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM). While disease due to M. avium-intracellulare complex is apparently common throughout the world, other Non-tuberculous mycobacterial species have been isolated from both immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals. The increasing number of infections caused by these organisms has made it clinically important to quickly identify mycobacterial species. The diagnosis of a pathogenic versus a non-pathogenic species not only has epidemiological implications but is also relevant to the demands of patient management. Since antibiotic treatment varies according to the species encountered, species identification would reduce the burden of some of these emerging opportunistic pathogens especially in immunocompromised patients and improve their quality of life. Findings: A total of 91 NTM suspected isolates from four regions of Zambia were included in the study. These isolates were identified using the sequence analysis of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region of Mycobacteria. Conclusion: The study has shown that DNA sequencing of the ITS region may be useful in the preliminary identification of NTM species. All species identified in this study were potentially pathogenic.

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Mwikuma, G., Kwenda, G., Hang’ombe, B. M., Simulundu, E., Kaile, T., Nzala, S., … Suzuki, Y. (2015). Molecular identification of non-tuberculous mycobacteria isolated from clinical specimens in Zambia. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12941-014-0059-8

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