The Comparison of Biochemical and Sequencing 16S rDNA Gene Methods to Identify Nontuberculous Mycobacteria



The identification of Mycobacteria in the species level has great medical importance. Biochemical tests are laborious and time-consuming, so new techniques could be used to identify the species. This research aimed to the comparison of biochemical and sequencing 16S rDNA gene methods to identify nontuberculous Mycobacteria in patients suspected to tuberculosis in Golestan province which is the most prevalent region of tuberculosis in Iran. Among 3336 patients suspected to tuberculosis referred to hospitals and health care centres in Golestan province during 2010-2011, 319 (9.56%) culture positive cases were collected. Identification of species by using biochemical tests was done. On the samples recognized as nontuberculous Mycobacteria, after DNA extraction by boiling, 16S rDNA PCR was done and their sequencing were identified by NCBI BLAST. Of the 319 positive samples in Golestan Province, 300 cases were M.tuberculosis and 19 cases (5.01%) were identified as nontuberculous Mycobacteria by biochemical tests. 15 out of 19 nontuberculous Mycobacteria were identified by PCR and sequencing method as similar by biochemical methods (similarity rate: 78.9%). But after PCR, 1 case known as M.simiae by biochemical test was identified as M. lentiflavum and 3 other cases were identified as Nocardia. Biochemical methods corresponded to the 16S rDNA PCR and sequencing in 78.9% of cases. However, in identification of M. lentiflavum and Nocaria sp. the molecular method is better than biochemical methods.