Microscopy: Rapid detection of acid fast bacilli by means of Ziehl-Neelsen-, Kinyoun-, and Auramin-staining
Primary isolation: Culture for mycobacteria is performed from all biological specimens by using liquid (MGIT 960, BACTEC 9050, BACTEC 460) and solid media (Löwenstein-Jensen, Stonebrink, Middlebrook)
Identification and differentiation: Identification of mycobacteria grown in culture media is performed with the aid of molecular techniques (line probe assays, sequencing of specific genes (16S rDNA, ITS, hsp65), spoligotyping)
Susceptibilty testing of first- and second line drugs: Susceptibility testing is performed using the MGIT 960 system and on Löwenstein-Jensen slants. Rapid detection of mutations associated with resistance against INH and RMP by using molecular techniques.
Epidemiological techniques: Fingerprint techniques are performed on TB strains for the confirmation of transmission or in cases suspect of laboratory cross contamination (IS6110-fingerprinting, Spoligotyping, and MIRU-VNTR-analysis).