Diagnosis of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections

Clin Lab Med. 2002 Dec;22(4):911-25, vi. doi: 10.1016/s0272-2712(02)00018-5.


This section discusses the methods of laboratory diagnosis of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) using conventional biochemical and nutritional requirements, acid-fast smear microscopy, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), antibiotic susceptibility testing, and newer genetic methods such as molecular probes, polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PRA), and 16S rDNA sequence analysis. This article discusses how laboratory results are applied by clinicians, and some of the difficulties and controversies regarding the diagnosis of NTM disease after the laboratory work is complete.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Culture Media
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycobacterium / isolation & purification*
  • Mycobacterium Infections / diagnosis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Culture Media