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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Measurement of Sputum Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Messenger RNA
Desjardin, Lucy E.; Perkins, Mark D.; Wolski, Kathy; et al.
July 26, 1999
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

In an effort to identify surrogate markers for response to chemotherapy, researchers from the United States and Brazil measured levels of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 85B messenger RNA (mRNA), 16S ribosomal RNA, and IS6110DNA found in patients' sputa. According to the authors, the quick disappearance of M. tuberculosis mRNA from sputum indicates that it is a useful marker for rapid assessment of response to chemotherapy and a good indicator of microbial viability.