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Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) gene PCR and sequencing

Health testing

ESBLs belong to three main families of β-lactamases: TEM, SHV and CTX-M. The CTX-M ESBLs are grouped, on the basis of sequence similarity, into five main groups: 1, 2, 8, 9 and 25. To identify a specific ESBL, sets of consensus primers, which amplify all TEM genes, all SHV genes and identify the CTX-M group, are used in separate PCR reactions. Any products of the correct size from the TEM and SHV PCRs are sequenced to identify the specific TEM or SHV β-lactamase. The specific CTX-M type can be identified by sequencing using CTX-M group-specific primers.

Identification of the ESBL type is appropriate for outbreak strains of ESBL-producing Enterobacterales.



Health Science

Lab name

Antibiotic Reference Laboratory

Lab location

Kenepuru Science Centre, Porirua

Test name

Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) gene PCR and sequencing



Requested for surveillance


Notice required


Routine turnaround time

20 working days for reference specimens

Sample requirements

Pure culture

Media requirements

A slope of 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 results will state the ESBL type or CTX-M group

Referral link