A target-specific assay for rapid and quantitative detection of Mycobacterium chimaera DNA in environmental and clinical specimens [article]

Enrique Zozaya-Valdes, Jessica L. Porter, John Coventry, Janet A.M. Fyfe, Glen P. Carter, Anders Goncalves da Silva, Torsten Seemann, Paul D.R. Johnson, Andrew J. Stewardson, Ivan Bastian, Sally A. Roberts, Benjamin P. Howden (+2 others)
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
Mycobacterium chimaera is an opportunistic environmental mycobacterium, belonging to the Mycobacterium intracellulare complex. Although most commonly associated with pulmonary disease, there has been growing awareness of invasive M. chimaera infections following cardiac surgery. Investigations suggest world-wide spread of a specific M. chimaera clone, associated with contaminated hospital heater-cooler units used during the surgery. Given the global dissemination of this clone, its potential to
more » ... e, its potential to cause invasive disease, and the laboriousness of current culture-based diagnostic methods, there is a pressing need to develop rapid and accurate diagnostic assays, specific for M. chimaera. Here, we assessed 354 mycobacterial genome sequences and confirmed that M. chimaera is a phylogenetically coherent group. In silico comparisons indicated six DNA regions present only in M. chimaera. We targeted one of these regions and developed a TaqMan qPCR assay for M. chimaera with a detection limit of 10 CFU in whole blood. In vitro screening against DNA extracted from 40 other mycobacteria and 22 bacterial species from 21 diverse genera confirmed in silico predicted specificity for M. chimaera. Screening 33 water samples from heater cooler units with this assay highlighted the increased sensitivity of PCR compared to culture, with 15 of 23 culture negative samples positive by M. chimaera qPCR. We have thus developed a robust molecular assay that can be readily and rapidly deployed to screen clinical and environmental specimens for M. chimaera.
doi:10.1101/105213 fatcat:c5oyqdmeozbgjfl5v7b3wjvqqq