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Molecular Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MTBC) by real-time PCR

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Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to Laboratory no. 594 (ISO/IEC 17025)

Requisition Forms

Reference Details


Real-time PCR based detection of MTBC in clinical samples using various molecular targets.

Test Category:
Molecular Detection
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Tuberculosis (TB)

Please consult with the NRCM Diagnostic Head and refer to Request Form for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Detection from Direct Patient Sample to determine if your sample is appropriate for this type of testing.

Collection Method:

Clinical samples that are positive for acid fast bacilli such as fresh tissue, CSF or sediment from decontaminated samples. Formalin fixed tissues are not recommended for testing due to DNA degradation.


Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Ship clinical specimens such as sputum or fresh tissue on ice for overnight delivery, and prior to Wednesday each week to ensure receipt by Friday.  Previously frozen material can be shipped on dry ice using appropriate Transportation of Dangerous Goods shipping procedures.  Please consult the NRCM if further information is required.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.


Patient Criteria:

Please consult with the NRCM prior to submitting a sample for MTBC detection.

Accompanying Documentation:
  • Special request only.  Test request must be made with prior consultation and approval by NRCM Diagnostic Head or designate. 
  • Justification form titled Request Form for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Detection from Direct Patient Samples must be completed and signed off by the physician in-charge.
  • Requisitions, along with justification, must be emailed or faxed prior to shipping isolates. Samples should be shipped attention: Melissa Rabb, Head, Reference and Diagnostic Services, NRCM/NML at 204-789-6081/204-789-6038.  The requisition for the NRCM should be completed and signed off by the supervisor/designate and include the source of specimen, patient gender, date of birth, clinical history, submitting laboratory identifier and submitter information microscopy (if available) and any other information relevant to the submitted sample.

Processed or clinical sample requirements are outlined on the Request Form for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Detection from Direct Patient Samples.  Samples may be rejected if a low volume of sample is submitted or appropriate documentation and justification is incomplete or missing. 

Methods and Interpretation of Results:

A variety of molecular methods such as real-time PCR for the detection of IS6110, RD9 and the ITS region may be employed for testing. 

Turnaround Time:

10 calendar days.

Phone #: (204) 789-2136 or (204) 789-6038
Fax: (204) 789-2036
  1. Eisenach KD, Cave MD, Bates JH, and Crawford JT. (1990) Polymerase chain reaction amplification of a repetitive DNA sequence specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J. Infect. Dis. 161:977-981.
  2. Huard RC, de Oliveira Lazzarini LC, Butler WR, van Soolingen D, and Ho JL. (2003) PCR-Based Method To Differentiate the Subspecies of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex on the Basis of Genomic Deletions. J. Clin. Microbiol. 41:1637.