The occurrence of the insertion sequence IS900 in Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium strains isolated from HIV infected patients has been investigated. In this study, genomic DNA from 62 mycobacterial isolates [31 strains of M. avium complex (MAC) consisting of 26 M. avium subsp. avium HIV-isolates and five non-HIV isolates and 31 additional Mycobacterium species] were analysed by an IS900 -based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and Southern hybridization using a non-radioactive-labelled 251 bp DNA fragment located at the 5'-region of the IS900 sequence. As expected, none of the 28 Mycobacterium species contained the IS900 in their genomic DNA. Of the 26 M. avium subsp. avium HIV-isolates, 15 (57.6%) were strongly positive for the IS900 or IS900 related sequence. The five pulmonary non-HIV MAC isolates were negative for the IS900. As expected, the three strains of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis were positive. This PCR guided study suggest that the IS900 gene is very common in clinical strains of M. avium subsp. avium especially those isolated from HIV patients. Ultimately the IS900 PCR-based assay may provide a useful tool for diagnostic and epidemiological studies related to MAC infections in HIV patients.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.