Direct detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in clinical specimens using single-tube biotinylated nested polymerase chain reaction-enzyme linked immunoassay (PCR-ELISA)

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004 Apr;48(4):271-5. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2003.11.006.


A biotinylated single-tube nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay with microwell hybridization assay (bPCR-ELISA) was developed for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in clinical specimens. A total of 659 specimens (601 respiratory specimens and 58 nonrespiratory specimens) were collected for evaluation using three DNA amplification techniques: newly designed bPCR-ELISA, in-house single-tube nested PCR for IS6110 gene sequence (nPCR), and commercial automated assays, the Cobas Amplicor System from Roche Diagnostic Systems (aPCR). Sixty-four (9.7%) specimens were culture-positive for M. tuberculosis. Eleven (1.7%) specimens culture-positive for nontuberculosis mycobacteria were negative by all three PCR assays. The resolved performance of bPCR-ELISA, nPCR, and aPCR was found at sensitivities of 97%, 94%, and 97%, respectively. All three PCR assays exhibited a 100% specificity. In evaluation of bPCR-ELISA, a clear distinction between PCR-positive and PCR-negative specimens when an OD405 value of 0.6 was chosen as cut-off. With serial dilutions of M. tuberculosis H37Rv DNA, the detection limit of bPCR-ELISA was found to be 0.75 cfu per reaction at OD405 value of 0.6. Our developed bPCR-ELISA provides a highly sensitive and low-costing molecular diagnosis suitable for developing countries with high prevalence of tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology*


  • Biotin