Evaluation of the Copan Myco-TB kit for the decontamination of respiratory samples for the detection of Mycobacteria

  • Deborah De Geyter
  • Danny Cnudde
  • Mieke Van der Beken
  • Dorien Autaers
  • Denis Piérard
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to test a newly developed decontamination and fluidization kit for processing respiratory specimens for the detection of mycobacteria: the Myco-TB procedure (developed by Copan (Brescia, Italy)). This technique was compared with the Zephiran decontamination method in use in our hospital. Respiratory specimens (n = 387: 130 endotracheal/bronchial aspirates, 172 bronchoalveolar lavages and 55 sputa) submitted to the University Hospital of Brussels between January 2016 and March 2017 were included. All samples were divided into two aliquots: one was subjected to the Myco-TB method and one to the Zephiran technique prior to culture. The sensitivities for culture for the Zephiran technique on solid media, the Myco-TB method on solid media and Myco-TB combined with the MGIT™ system were respectively 67%, 87% and 89%. The contamination rates were 22% with both the Zephiran and Myco-TB method on solid media and only 4% with the Myco-TB kit combined with the MGIT™ system. For direct microscopy, the sensitivities of the Zephiran method and the Myco-TB method were equal (40%) when the centrifugation time was 20 min. The Myco-TB decontamination method is easy and rapid to perform. It is more sensitive for culture as compared to the Zephiran method and gives lower contamination levels when combined with the MGIT™ technique. When increasing the centrifugation step to 20 min, the sensitivity of direct microscopy is equal to the Zephiran method.


Mycobacteria Decontamination Myco-TB Zephiran 





Mycobacteria growth indicator tube






Phosphate buffered saline

UZ Brussel

University Hospital of Brussels



We would like to thank Copan Italy for providing the Myco-TB kits and the Wetenschappelijk Instituut voor Volksgezondheid for identification of the Mycobacteria.

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest to declare. No funding received.

Supplementary material

10096_2017_3163_MOESM1_ESM.docx (40 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 40 kb)


  1. 1.
    Chatterjee M, Bhattacharya S, Karak K, Dastidar SG (2013) Effects of different methods of decontamination for successful cultivation of mycobacterium tuberculosis. Indian J Med Res 138(4):541–548.
  2. 2.
    Morcillo N, Imperiale B, Palomino JC (2008) New simple decontamination method improves microscopic detection and culture of mycobacteria in clinical practice. Infect Drug Resist 1:21–26.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZB), Department of Microbiology and Infection ControlBrusselsBelgium

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