Pollution Research Paper

Vol 37, May Suppl. Issue 2018; Page No.(47-53)

IDENTIFICATION OF MYCOBACTERIUM FORTUITUM ISOLATED FROM DIVERSE WATER SOURCES IN PUNJAB AREA

ESTHER VISE, SAMIR DAS, RAVI KANT AGARWAL AND AKSHAY GARG

Abstract

Mycobacterium fortuitum belongs to the group of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) which falls under the genus Mycobacterium. Ubiquitous in nature, most of the NTM are known to overcome the barrier of disinfectants and cause opportunistic infections. In this study, 35 water samples were collected from seven districts of Punjab and Chandigarh which were mostly representatives of the water source in the selected locations. The samples comprised of treated, un-treated, potable and surface water. About 500-1000 mL of each water sample was collected in sterile containers and decontaminated with 0.005% cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) before inoculation. The samples were processed by membrane filtration technique and initial identification of the isolates was done by colony morphology and Ziehl–Neelsen (ZN) staining. PCR amplification of partial rpoB gene was performed for molecular confirmation and species identification by BLASTn similarity search in NCBI through sequencing of this gene. Phylogenetic tree was built with the sequenced gene to understand the evolutionary relationship of the isolates employing the freely accessible software MEGA7. A total of nine samples showed acid fast bacilli during ZN staining, however; only three (8.57%) isolates amplified the 764-bp rpoB gene. Sequencing and BLASTn analysis confirmed all the three isolates to be M. fortuitum. Sources of these three isolates included samples from Amritsar (potable water), Hoshiarpur (potable water) and Chandigarh (Lake Water). Isolation of this species from water sources is notable as contamination with potentially pathogenic mycobacteria in high load could present a possible source of human diseases. This calls for proper assessment of water treatment schemes in the city and consideration of clinicians for diagnostic criteria.

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