Clostridium difficile PCR-ribotyping

Registry Details

Area Health Science
Lab name Nosocomial Infections Laboratory
Lab location Kenepuru Science Centre, Porirua
Test name Clostridium difficile PCR-ribotyping
Organisms Clostridium difficile from outbreaks, recurrent infections and severe disease
Requested for surveillance no
Notice required no
Routine turnaround time 10 working days for reference specimens
Culture requirements Pure culture
Media requirements Any medium that supports the growth of the organism
Pre-transport requirements Ambient temperature
Transport requirements Ambient temperature
Unacceptable sample types Clinical specimens will not be accepted
How results reported The PCR-ribotype will be reported if the PCR-ribotyping products match those of one of the reference C. difficile PCR-ribotyping strains held by ESR.
Referral link Form


PCR-ribotyping is based on variations in the spacer regions between the genes encoding 16S rRNA and 23S rRNA.  In the C. difficile genome, there are multiple copies of these genes and the spacer regions vary in length. The spacer regions are amplified by PCR and the amplicons sized by capillary-gel electrophoresis.  The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s set of reference strains representing 25 C. difficile PCR-ribotypes (001, 002, 003, 012, 014, 015, 017, 020, 023, 027, 029, 046, 053, 056, 070, 075, 077, 078, 081, 087, 095, 106, 117, 126 and 131) is used to identify PCR-ribotypes.