African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12296

Full Length Research Paper

Isolation of rapid growing mycobacteria from soil and water in Iran

Mohammad Rahbar1*, Aboulfath Lamei2, Homayoon Babazadeh2 and Shoherh Afshar Yavari2
1Department of Microbiology, Iranian Health Reference Laboratory Tehran, Iran. 2Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Iran.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 April 2010
  •  Published: 14 June 2010


 A total of 350 soil samples were collected from different part of Uremia city and suburbs. We used 3% sodium lauryl sulfate and 1% NaOH for decontamination of soil samples. Of 350 samples, mycobacteria were isolated from 65 (18.3%) specimens. Mycobacterium fortuitum with 18(5.14) strains yielded the highest frequency of isolation. The other isolates were: Mycobacterium peregrinum11(3.14%), Mycobacterium flvescens 10 (2.85%), Mycobacterium chelonae 6 (1.71%), Mycobacterium mucogenicum 6(1.71%), Mycobacterium thermoresistable 4(1.14%), Mycobacterium abscessus 3 (0.85%), Mycobacteriumneoaurum 2(0.57%), Mycobacterium smegmatis 2 (0.57%) and M. fortuitum third biovalant complex 3 (0.85%). The mean pH of soil was 7.89 ± 0.379 (max 8.5, min 7.5). Our data showed an abundant occurrence of mycobacteria in low pH (P value = 0001). We also collected 120 water samples from rivers, brooks and drinking water. Water samples decontaminated were by adding cetyl pyridinium chloride (CPC) to give final concentration of 0.05%. Mycobacteria isolated from 12 water samples. The predominant isolated species were M. fortuitum and Mycobacterium cheloni. The majority isolates were from brooks and surface waters.


Key words: Rapid growing mycobateria, soil, water. 


NTM, Non-tuberculosis mycobacteria; CPC, cetylpyridinium chloride; BCG, bacillus Calmette-Guérin.