Evaluation of practical chromatographic procedures for identification of clinical isolates of mycobacteria

M. Luquin, V. Ausina, F. Lopez Calahorra, F. Belda, M. G. Barcelo, C. Celma, G. Prats

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104 Citations (Scopus)


After experimental conditions were established, 366 strains of mycobacteria belonging to 23 different species were studied for fatty acids, secondary alcohols, and mycolic acids cleavage products by capillary gas-liquid chromatography. Additionally, the mycolic acid pattern was studied by thin-layer chromatography. Capillary gas-liquid chromatography allowed direct identification of the following Mycobacterium spp.: M. kansasii, M. marinum, M. szulgai, M. xenopi, M. malmoense, and M. gordonae. The patterns of mycolic acid methyl esters recorded for the test strains of M. chelonae and M. agri may be of value in the identification of these species. Moreover, the combined use of the two chromatographic techniques provided precise identification of the M. tuberculosis complex, M. simiae, M. fallax, M. triviaele, and M. chelonae-like organisms. A minimal set of biochemical tests is usually required to obtain identification to the species level when chromatographic procedures alone are not sufficient. Under the reported experimental conditions, thin-layer chromatography and capillary gas-liquid chromatography are rapid and very useful techniques for the identification of mycobacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-130
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 1991


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