HSP65-PRA identification of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria from 4892 samples suspicious for mycobacterial infections


Corresponding author: E. Jabbarzadeh, Department of Mycobacteriology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, No. 69, 12 Farvardin Avenue, Tehran, Iran


Various molecular methods have been used for the rapid identification of mycobacterial species. In this survey, evaluation of antibiotic resistance and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PRA) of the hsp65 gene was carried out for identification of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) isolates from different clinical specimens. Forty-eight different mycobacterial isolates were selected and followed by the conventional and PRA of hsp65 for species identification. The antibiotic susceptibility test was carried out according to standard methods. A 439 bp PCR product of hsp65 in all selected isolates was amplified and digested with the BstEII and HaeIII restriction enzymes. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns were analyzed for species identification. Using PRA for 48 mycobacterial selected isolates, including 15 M. tuberculosis, one M. bovis and all 32 isolates of NTM, revealed 11 different species among the NTM isolates. The most frequent NTM isolates were M. kansasii, M. gordonae III, M. marinum, M. chelonae, M. scrofluaceum and M. gastri. In most cases, the PRA results were perfectly in accordance with the classical biochemical method. Combination of resistance to rifampin and isoniazid was present among M. kansasi, M. gordoniae III, M. scrofluaceum, M. chelonae, M. marinum, M. gastri, M. gordoniae II and M. trivale isolates. A high incidence of co-resistance to six, five, four and three anti-TB drugs was observed in 18.5%, 9.1%, 6.6% and 11.7% of all NTM isolates, respectively. Our results showed that PRA, in comparison with classical methods, is rapid and accurate enough for the identification of mycobacterial species from LJ medium. Additionally, we found that in Iran we have a highly diverse population of NTM isolates among patients suspected of having TB.