Utility of high-performance liquid chromatography for identification of mycobacterial species rarely encountered in clinical laboratories

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High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been demonstrated to be a suitable technique for determining the species of mycobacteria on the basis of their mycolic acid pattern. Representative HPLC profiles, which are needed for the visual recognition of chromatograms, have been published for the most frequently encountered mycobacterial species. No extensive study has been reported for less common species, and only a few, scattered chromatographic patterns are available in literature. This study evaluates the utility of this technique for the identification of several rare species.Mycobacterium celatum, Mycobacterium genavense andMycobacterium simiae chromatographic profiles have been verified, and previously unreported profiles of other species investigated. The chromatographic pattern ofMycobacterium malmoense is presented for the first time.