Acta Scientific Microbiology (ASMI) (ISSN: 2581-3226)

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 4

16S-23S Ribosomal RNA Internal Transcribed Spacer Region-based Genetic Analysis of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria from Zimbabwe

Nyasha Chin’ombe1, Boniface Muzividzi2, Vurayai Ruhanya1 and Pasipanodya Nziramasanga1

1Molecular Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Zimbabwe, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe
2National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Childcare, Southerton, Harare, Zimbabwe

*Corresponding Author: Nyasha Chin’ombe, Molecular Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Zimbabwe, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Received: September 09, 2020; Published: March 22, 2021



Background: Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) are now commonly detected in humans and are ubiquitously distributed in various environments such as water, soil and air. Limited data exist on the diversity and accurate identification of NTM species in Zimbabwe. This study evaluated the use of 16S-23S rRNA ITS in genetically characterizing the diversity of NTM isolated from Zimbabwe during a national tuberculosis survey.

Methods: Polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify the 16S-23S rRNA ITS DNA from archived NTM isolates from National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) of the Ministry of Health and Childcare, Zimbabwe. The amplicons were sequenced and analysed using bioinformatics tools.

Results: From the 963 archived NTM isolates at the NMRL, 26 had their 16S-23S rRNA ITS DNA sequences analysed. Genetic heterogeneity of the 16S-23S rRNA ITS was demonstrated among the NTM isolates from Zimbabwe. The analysis showed that there were 15 (57.7%) M. avium, 4 (15.4%) M. palustre, 2 (7.7%) M. seoulense, 2 (7.7%) M. parascrofulaceum, 1 (3.8%) M. sinense, 1 (3.8%) M. asiaticum and 1 (3.8%) M. bouchedurhonense.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated that the 16S-23S ITS region could be used in characterizing NTM species from Zimbabwe. Most of the NTM isolates from Zimbabwe were closely related to M. avium, a known human opportunistic pathogen. Further studies are however necessary to unravel the true scope of NTM problem in Zimbabwe.

Keywords: Nontuberculous Mycobacteria; 16S-23S rRNA ITS; Diversity; Zimbabwe



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Citation: Nyasha Chin’ombe., et al. “16S-23S Ribosomal RNA Internal Transcribed Spacer Region-based Genetic Analysis of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria from Zimbabwe". Acta Scientific Microbiology 4.4 (2021): 64-69.


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