Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 135  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 788-794

An in-house multiplex PCR test for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, its validation & comparison with a single target TB-PCR kit

1 Radiation Medicine Centre, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India
2 Department of Microbiology, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Savita Kulkarni
Radiation Medicine Centre, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, TMH Annexe, Parel, Mumbai 400 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background & objectives: The conventional techniques used in TB diagnosis like AFB (acid fast bacilli) smear microscopy lack sensitivity and the gold standard, culture test takes time. A test based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the 38 kDa gene and IS6110 insertion sequence, specific to Mycobacterium tuberculosis was developed to further increase the sensitivity of a TB-PCR kit targeting only 38 kDa gene developed earlier in the same laboratory. The multiplex test was validated using sputum samples from pulmonary TB (PTB) cases. The sensitivity and specificity were compared with AFB smear examination and Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) culture test. Methods: Multiplex PCR amplifying 340 and 245 bp sequence of 38 kDa gene and IS6110, respectively was standardized and analytical sensitivity was verified. Sputum samples (n=120) obtained from PTB cases were subjected to AFB smear examination, LJ culture and a multiplex as well as single target PCR test. Additionally, 72 non-TB respiratory samples were included in the study as negative controls. Results: Analytical sensitivity of multiplex PCR was found to be 100 fg for 38 kDa gene and 1 fg for IS6110. Multiplex PCR, using both the targets, showed highest sensitivity of 81.7 per cent, followed by 69.2 per cent for L-J culture test and 53.3 per cent for AFB smear when clinical diagnosis was considered as a gold standard. The sensitivity of detection of M. tuberculosis in AFB smear positive and negative samples by multiplex PCR was 93.7 and 67.9 per cent, respectively. Sensitivity of 77.1 per cent observed for the detection of M. tuberculosis with single target PCR increased to 89.2 per cent with multiplex PCR in culture positive samples. Four samples showed positive PCR results only with primers for 38 kDa gene. Interpretation & conclusions: Multiplex PCR increased the sensitivity of single target PCR and will be useful in diagnosing paucibacillary smear negative samples. Further, it can also be used to detect samples with M. tuberculosis strains lacking IS6110.

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