Comparative assessment of viability of M.leprae by mouse foot-pad and fluorescent staining techniques.Indian J Lepr. 1994 Oct-Dec; 66(4):455-62.IJ
Morphological characteristics have been used as a parameter to assess the viability of M.leprae in leprosy patients. However, with the advent of the mouse foot-pad technique, viability of M.leprae is determined by growing the bacilli in the mouse foot-pad. In recent years, a fluorescent staining technique using fluorescent diacetate-ethidium bromide (FDA-EB) has been used to assess the viability of cultivable mycobacteria as well as M.leprae. The purpose of this study was to compare the viability of M.leprae by both mouse foot-pad and fluorescent staining techniques. M.leprae strains from both untreated and treated patients as well as mouse passaged strains of M.leprae were used for the comparison. Percentage of green-stained bacilli in the inoculum was compared with that of multiplication of M.leprae in the mouse foot-pad. It was observed that there was no correlation between the estimates of viable M.leprae by fluorescent staining and by mouse foot-pad inoculation. FDA-EB staining appears to reflect only trends as absence of green staining cells had overall general correlation with loss of infectivity to mouse foot-pad but, the converse was not found to be true.