New Microbiologica, vol.27, no.1, pp.49-53, 2004 (SCI-Expanded)
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the frequency of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) isolated from clinical specimens using Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Enzyme Analysis (PCR-REA) and to investigate the patients who had clinically significant NTM infections in our hospital through the five year period from May 1997 to June 2002. A total of 364 mycobacterial strains isolated from clinical specimens which gave positive growth index in the BACTEC 460 radiometric system in Hacettepe University Hospital Clinical Microbiology Laboratory were evaluated by PCR-REA and clinical data were obtained from the patient records . Three hundred and one of the strains (82.7%) were identified as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 63 (17.3%) were identified as nontuberculous mycobacteria. Seven (11.1%) of 63 NTM patients were regarded as having clinical mycobacteriosis. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other pre-existing lung diseases were seen in 39 (61.9%) of the patients, 11 (17.5%) of the patients had chronic renal failure. Four (6.3%) and 9 (14.3%) of them had AIDS and carcinomas, respectively. PCR-REA was found to be a reliable method for typing of our mycobacterial isolates to the species level. These data may shed light on the epidemiology of the mycobacterial species and help to select a proper treatment regimen.