Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex / Mycobacterium species real-time PCR


Bacterial culture is the gold-standard method for diagnosis of Mycobacterial infection. Molecular methods can also be used to detect Mycobacterial DNA directly from clinical specimens. They can also be used to identify cultured organisms, in particular from liquid culture media from positive flagging bottles, providing accurate identification of acid-fast organisms several days before traditional methods. Several different targets in the Mycobacterial genome have been utilised. We have designed and validated two multiplexed real-time PCR assays that can detect all clinically relevant Mycobacteria species, quickly differentiating M. tuberculosis complex from NTM, BCG from the other memebsr of the M. tuberculosis complex and also RGM from the slow-growing NTM. Sequencing of amplicons can further identify organims to species level. This assay can rapidly confirm whether liquid cultures that flag positive contain M. tuberculosis complex (and whether it is a BCG or a non-BCG strain), rapidly and accurately identify Mycobacteria to species level when they are isolated in liquid culture (or on solid media) and allows primary detection of Mycobacteria in clinical samples. (This is always in addition to culture). The assay includes an internal control PCR

Also known as

Mycobacterium tuberculosis PCR, Mycobacterial PCR, M. tb PCR, TB PCR, tuberculosis PCR, Atypical Mycobacteria PCR

Request a test

To request this test please send sample with a request providing patient ID (three identifiers), specimen information, assay required, relevant clinical details and sender information. Before sending sample please read details on requesting and labelling by clicking on the link. Please also refer to any additional information provided for this test.

Additional information

Two mutiplexed PCR assays that detect specific M. tuberculosis complex targets and Mycobacterial species targets.

Sending address

Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control Level 4, Camelia Botnar Laboratories Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Great Ormond Street London WC1N 3JH DX number: DX6640203 DX Exchange: Bloomsbury 91WC

Laboratory service

Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control

Sample requirements

Any sample from a normally sterile site. Respiratory samples. Liquid cultures. Minimum volume 200 microlitres

Reference range

Not applicable

Turnaround time

24 hours

Disease / group

Mycobacterial infection


Upon request

Call in advance?

Not required

Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control

Our laboratory performs a wide range of routine and specialist investigations in Bacteriology, Virology and PCR.

© 2011 Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust