Mycobacterial Load Assay

  • Stephen H. GillespieEmail author
  • Wilber Sabiiti
  • Katarina Oravcova
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1616)


Tuberculosis is a difficult disease to treat, a process made more harder as tools to monitor treatment response only provide a result long after the patient has provided a sample. The mycobacterial load assay (MBLA) provides a simple molecular test to quantify and determine the viability of M. tuberculosis in human or other samples.

Key words

Mycobacterial load assay (MBLA) Sputum Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) Reverse transcriptase real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) 


  1. 1.
    Honeyborne I, McHugh TD, Phillips PPJ et al (2011) Molecular bacterial load assay, a culture-free biomarker for rapid and accurate quantification of sputum mycobacterium tuberculosis bacillary load during treatment. J Clin Microbiol 49:3905–3911CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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    Honeyborne I, Mtafya B, Phillips PPJ et al (2014) The molecular bacterial load assay replaces solid culture for measuring early bactericidal response to anti-tuberculosis treatment. J Clin Microbiol 52(8):3064–3067CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bowness R, Boeree MJ, Aarnoutse R et al (2014) The relationship between Mycobacterium tuberculosis MGIT time to positivity and cfu in sputum samples demonstrates changing bacterial phenotypes potentially reflecting the impact of chemotherapy on critical sub-populations. J Antimicrob Chemother 70(2):448–455. doi: 10.1093/jac/dku415 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Mukamolova GV, Turapov O, Malkin J et al (2010) Resuscitation-promoting factors reveal an occult population of tubercle bacilli in sputum. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 181:174–180CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen H. Gillespie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wilber Sabiiti
    • 1
  • Katarina Oravcova
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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