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Open Access Research article

Comparative evaluation of TK SLC-L, a rapid liquid mycobacterial culture medium, with the MGIT system

İhsan Hakkı Çiftci* and Engin Karakeçe

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:130  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-130

Published: 6 March 2014



The present study was conducted to assess the efficiency of using TK SLC-L (Salubris, Inc.) for the primary isolation of mycobacteria from clinical samples by comparing it to the MGIT detection system (Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Instrument Systems). Although TK SLC, a biphasic medium, has been evaluated previously, this is the first study to evaluate TK SLC-L, a liquid medium.


Clinical specimens from a total of 146 clinically suspected cases of tuberculosis were studied. Each processed sample was evaluated by ZN staining and inoculated into TK SLC-L and MGIT tubes. The TK SLC tubes were incubated in a MYCOLOR TK while the MGIT tubes were incubated in a MGIT system. Growth, indicated by automated systems, was confirmed through production of a smear and microscopic evaluation after ZN staining.


Mycobacterial growth was positive in 35 TK SLC-L and in 34 MGIT samples. Although the growth detection time was approximately 3 to 5 days shorter, on average, with the MGIT system, the contamination rate was significantly lower using TK SLC-L. The total time spent for the repetition of cultures for contaminated samples in MGIT make the total return time for culture results equal to or longer than the time required by TK SLC-L.


The TK Culture System using TK SLC-L is an efficient system and possible alternative to other rapid mycobacterial culture systems.