- Top of page
- Materials and methods
- Extraction of mycobacterial genomic DNA
- Extraction of mycobacterial DNA from sputum
- Primers and development of multiplex PCR
- Multiplex PCR
- Statistical analysis
For early detection and species differentiation of mycobacteria, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques are currently in wide use. However, individual techniques using amplification of different targets with appropriate primers still have some limitations, which have to be overcome. The ideal technique would use DNA sequences which should be present in all mycobacteria and absent in others and would be able to discriminate one species from the other, as non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are on rise in terms of frequency of detection. We developed a multiplex PCR based on amplification of 165, 365 and 541 bp target fragments of unrelated genes, hsp 65 coding for 65 kDa antigen, dnaJ gene of mycobacteria and insertion element IS 6110 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, respectively. This multiplex PCR was tested over 5 years from 1996 to 2001 with 411 clinical specimens from suspected cases of tuberculosis and mycobacterioses and compared with standard laboratory techniques. The multiplex PCR was positive for 379 cases compared with 280 cases by standard techniques (P < 0.0001). It could distinguish between strains of the M. tuberculosis complex and NTM; the results are comparable with standard techniques. Thus the multiplex PCR can be useful in early detection, species differentiation and epidemiology.