Improvement in mycobacterial yield and reduced time to detection in pediatric samples by use of a nutrient broth growth supplement
There is an urgent need to improve the methods used for the bacteriological diagnosis of childhood mycobacterial disease. This study compared the mycobacterial yields and the times to detection (in days) of mycobacteria in pediatric clinical specimens by using Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tubes (MGITs) and solid Löwenstein-Jensen (LJ) slants with and without a nutrient broth supplement. A total of 801 specimens from 493 patients were processed: 82.8% were gastric aspirate specimens, 15.6% were sputum specimens, and 1.6% were fine-needle-aspiration biopsy specimens. The mycobacterial yield obtained with MGITs (with and without nutrient broth) was 11.0%, and that obtained with LJ slants was 1.6% (P < 0.001). Of the 88 positive cultures, 62 were detected in MGITs and 73 were detected in MGITs supplemented with nutrient broth (P = 0.11). The mean time to detection in MGITs (without nutrient broth) was 18.5 days, whereas it was 12.4 days in MGITs with nutrient broth (P < 0.001). Supplementation of standard MGITs improved the mycobacterial yield and significantly reduced the time to detection of mycobacteria in pediatric samples. Copyright © 2009, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.