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Rapid identification of mycobacteria from AIDS patients by capillary electrophoretic profiling of amplified SOD gene
  1. T J Bull,
  2. D C Shanson,
  3. L C Archard
  1. Medical Microbiology Department, Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, London W6 8RF
  2. Department of Biochemistry, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF


    Aim—Rapid differentiation of mycobacterial species at the genomic level.

    Methods—The manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD) gene (464 bp) and 16SrRNA (353 bp) from 104 isolates (18 species) of mycobacteria were amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Products were sequenced and a phenogram of SOD sequences derived. PCR products of SOD gene were digested with HaeIII, and restriction fragment profiles visualised using capillary electrophoresis.

    Results—Novel SOD sequences were found for M szulgai, M marinum, M phlei, M smegmatis, M chelonei, M paratuberculosis, M malmoense, M intracellulare serotype 7, M intracellulare serotype 18, and M celatum types 1, 2, and 3. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that 18 of 19 species studied had 8-29% interspecies and <6% intraspecies sequence diversity in the SOD gene. No consistent differences were detected between AIDS and non-AIDS isolates. M paratuberculosis showed a unique SOD sequence with a 1·1% (SD 0·5%) diversity from M avium. Capillary electrophoresis profiles were able to differentiate 16 of 18 species within 24 hours.

    Conclusions—A phenogram of SOD sequences clearly delineated all mycobacterial species and showed two distinct clusters, fast growing species, and the M avium complex (MAC). Within the MAC, M avium (five types), M intracellulare (five types), M scrofulaceum (two types), and M paratuberculosis (one type) could be demonstrated. Phylogenetic diversity of M celatum from MAC, previously suggested by 16SrRNA data, was confirmed. This simple and rapid method for DNA extraction, in conjunction with capillary electrophoresis of SOD restriction fragments, allows rapid identification of mycobacterial isolates.

    • Mycobacteria
    • superoxide dismutase
    • rapid identification

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