An in vitro test for assessment of intracellular viability and growth of mycobacteria

S. D. Chitambar, A. H. Band, G. P. Talwar

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Abstract

A number of radioactive precursors measuring different metabolic pathways were investigated to monitor with higher sensitivity and consistency, the growth and metabolic activity of mycobacteria resident in human monocyte derived macrophages. 14C-acetate was found to be incorporated more rapidly and in higher amounts as compared to 3H-thymidine, 3H-uracil, 3H-leucine and 14C-glucose by the two cultivable mycobacteria, Mycobacterium w and Mycobacterium vaccae. Since 14C-acetate incorporation is not restricted to mycobacteria, and could be seen in the host cell, an experimental procedure was devised to obtain a differential response. The assay enables the discrimination between killed and live, drug resistant and sensitive mycobacteria and also measures with fair accuracy even small number ((approx. 0·5 x 10) of mycobacteria. The system may be useful to evaluate the influence of lymphokines and other agents on the growth of intracellular mycobacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-303
Number of pages12
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Volume82
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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