They are slow-growing bacteria that are characterized by their lipid rich, hydrophobic cell wall. In addition to nonpathogenic organisms that reside in the natural environment, the genus includes human and animal pathogens of considerable social and economic consequence. The most important mycobacterial pathogens belong to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, which is a group of closely related
bacteria responsible for tuberculosis disease (TB) in humans and animals. TB remains a serious threat to public health with over 9 million new cases each year and nearly two million deaths (World Health Organisation, 2010). Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to control the disease which spreads via contaminated aerosols exhaled by patients with respiratory forms of the disease. The need for low cost rapid tests has led to a renewed Trametinib price interest in detection of volatile organic compounds (VOC) as a means of detecting active disease (McNerney & Daley, 2011). Olfactory sensing by African pouch rats suggests that animals conditioned to detect headspace gases from M. tuberculosis can identify infected sputum samples taken from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (Weetjens et al., 2009). To improve knowledge of volatile compounds
CH5424802 emitted by mycobacteria, we examined the headspace gases above cultures of the vaccine strain Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG). Volatile compounds from BCG were identified by mass spectrometry, and headspace from bacterial cultures was monitored in real time using a miniaturized gas chromatograph coupled to a surface acoustic wave sensor. Headspace gases from cultures were compared
to those from media incubated under identical conditions but not inoculated with bacteria and with Lowenstein–Jensen Vasopressin Receptor impregnated with p-nitrobenzoic acid, an inhibitor of M. tuberculosis. We also investigated Mycobacterium smegmatis, a fast growing environmental species found in soil using the rapid gas chromatographic device to compare VOC production with that of the slow-growing BCG. Mycobacterium bovis BCG (BB-NCIPD, Sofia, Bulgaria) was maintained on Lowenstein–Jensen media (LJ) supplemented with glycerol (Media for Mycobacteria, Cardiff, UK). Mycobacterium smegmatis Mc2155 (Snapper et al., 1990) was maintained on Middlebrook 7H9 with 1.5% agar (BDH Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Systems, Sparks, MD) enriched with 10% oleic, albumin, dextrose and catalase supplement (Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Systems). Prior to analysis, BCG cultures were grown on LJ medium slopes in glass universal bottles for 2 weeks at 37 °C until colonies were clearly visible. Three lots of three bottles of BCG on LJ medium were placed inside the sampling bags made up of 1355-mm-diameter Nalophan NA tubing 25 μm thick (Kalle UK). Sample bags were 40 cm long. Three lots of three bottles of uninoculated LJ slopes were also placed inside three nalophan bags to act as control samples.