Research and Development

The MRL molecular laboratory has an ongoing research interest in the development of real-time PCR assays for the detection of specific mycobacterial pathogens in clinical specimens, including paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed tissues.

In particular, sensitive and specific assays have been developed to detect M. tuberculosis complex, M. ulcerans and M. genavense, the latter in collaboration with the Melbourne Zoo.

Other collaborative research interests include the molecular detection and characterization of drug resistance mutations in M. tuberculosis, in association with the University of Melbourne.

The evaluation of rapid PCR-based typing methods for particular M. tuberculosis isolates and the provision of reliable data for epidemiological purposes is also ongoing within the molecular laboratory.