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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 292605, 7 pages
Research Article

An IMS/ATP Assay for the Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Urine

Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, ISA 2015, Tampa, FL 33620-7115, USA

Received 22 November 2011; Revised 15 February 2012; Accepted 18 February 2012

Academic Editor: Carlo Garzelli

Copyright © 2012 Dawn M. Hunter and Daniel V. Lim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Although sputum smears are the gold standard for diagnosis of tuberculosis, sensitivity in HIV/TB coinfection cases is low, indicating a need for alternative methods. Urine is being increasingly evaluated. Materials and Methods. A novel method for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in synthetic urine using a combined IMS/ATP assay was evaluated. Preliminary work established standard ATP conditions and the sensitivity and specificity of the MTB antibody. Eighty-four blinded samples in four replicate assays were evaluated for the presence of MTB using labeled immunomagnetic beads for capture. Beads were separated, washed, and resuspended in broth and added to a microtiter plate. Bioluminescent output was measured and signal-to-noise ratios were calculated. All samples were plated on Middlebrook 7H10 agar or trypticase soy agar to determine limit of detection and recoveries. Results and Conclusions. MTB was distinguished from common bacteriuria isolates and other nontarget bacteria by its ATP results. IMS/ATP successfully detected 19 of 28 samples of MTB in synthetic urine with a limit of detection of 104 CFU/ml. Sensitivity and specificity were 67.9% and 82.1%, respectively. This assay offers a possible rapid screening method for HIV-positive patients with suspected coinfection to improve MTB diagnosis.