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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 217-218

Prevalence of acid fast bacilli in Ajmer: A retrospective analysis of eight years data

Department of Microbiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur - 440 018, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Microbiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur - 440 018, Maharashtra, India

 ~ Abstract 

To assess prevalence of acid fast bacilli (AFB) in Ajmer, a retrospective analysis of 8 years was done in 1905 AFB cultures in various clinical specimens. All specimens were cultured on Lowenstein-Jensen slants after decontamination and concentration using modified Petroff's method. Smears were stained by Ziehl-Neelsen technique with acid and alcohol to exclude rapid growers. Four hundred and twenty eight AFB positive cultures were reported using morphological, staining and microscopic characteristics. Over all, AFB positive culture rate was 22.46%. Maximum positive cultures were from urinary system (253) followed by respiratory system (151), female genital systems (9), reticuloendothelial system (6), CNS (6), GIT (2), and CVS (1).

How to cite this article:
Rathore R S, Gupta R C. Prevalence of acid fast bacilli in Ajmer: A retrospective analysis of eight years data. Indian J Med Microbiol 2001;19:217-8

How to cite this URL:
Rathore R S, Gupta R C. Prevalence of acid fast bacilli in Ajmer: A retrospective analysis of eight years data. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2001 [cited 2021 Mar 8];19:217-8. Available from:

In India mycobacterial infection is common in rural, poor and illiterate population as compared to urban, rich and literate group. Despite revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme i.e. “DOTS” the infection is increasing with high mortality. Mycobacterial infection being contageous, spreads from open positive AFB mothers to child, one family member to other, and one group of patient to other. Infection is slow, progressive and flares up if undiagnosed, in low immune status, in patients on corticosteroid therapy, diabetes, aspergillosis and AIDS.

 ~ Materials and Methods Top

The present study was conducted in Department of Microbiology, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, between January, 1993 to 31st March, 2001.
The study group included hospitals of Ajmer zone. All specimens were processed without delay using standard microbiological methods.[1] Sputum, pus and many other specimens containing organism other than mycobacteria were decontaminated and concentrated using modified Petroff's method[2] before being cultured on Lowenstein Jensen slants. Uncontaminated specimens such as CSF, pleural fluid and biopsy material were used after centrifugation and homogenization to inoculate the media.[1] Inoculated culture media were incubated at 370C for 6-8 weeks and examined weekly. Smears were stained by Z.N. technique with acid and alcohol.[3]

 ~ Results Top

Year wise distribution of AFB positive cultures from various types of clinical specimens is given in the [table].
On microscopic examination under oil immersion lens all AFB were pink to bright red in colour, slender, straight or slightly curved rods with varying length and thickness. In urine AFB were long and thin. In sputum, endometrium and ascitic fluid they were long, thick and beaded. In pleural fluid they were short, thick and beaded. In CSF long, thin and beaded appearance was seen. This shows that organisms in tissue and sputum smear often stain irregularly and have a beaded or barred appearance.[4]
On culture, typical creamish white to buff (mustard) coloured dry, rough, raised, wrinkled colonies, pin point to pin-head size were seen after 3-4 weeks which are suggestive of pathogenic human type of strain of M. tuberculosis. 

 ~ References Top

1.Topley, Wilsons. Bacterial disease. 1990 Vol. 3: 3.7 Mycobacteria 94-117.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Chandrasekhar S. Bacteriological and cultural studies on atypical mycobacteria isolated from patients with chronic non tubercular respiratory diseases. Indian J Chest Dis 1973; 15:189-94.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Jawetz E, Melnick JL, Adelberg EA. Review of Medical Microbiology 1987; 26:285-92.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Arora DR. A Text Book of Microbiology: 1st ed. (C.B.S. Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi). 1999; 28:231-48.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Chakraborty P. A Text Book of Microbiology 1st ed. New Central Book Agency (P) Ltd. Culcutta. 1995;40: 351-71.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Das BK, Sharma VK, Bhau LNR, Saxena SN, Bhardwaj BK. Characterisation of mycobacterial strains from clinical specimens. Ind J Pathol Microbiol 1982; 25: 19-27.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Tsukamura M. Identification of Mycobacterium. Tubercle 1967;48:311-37.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Strong BE, Kubica GP. Isolation and identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Publication. 1981 No (CDS) 81:8390.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Chakraborty P, Bhattacharya S, Adhye S, Mitra PK, Sarkar B, Das GK, Mitra K. Tuberculosis of endometrium: A Clinico Pathological and Bacteriological Study. Ind J Obstret Gynaecol 1993;43-86.  Back to cited text no. 9    
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