PCR-Based Blood Test for Detecting Mycobacterium Infection in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

Technology #30555

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Saleh A. Naser, Ph.D.
External Link (med.ucf.edu)
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Brion Berman
Assistant Director 407.882.0342
Patent Protection

Protocol for detection of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in blood

US Patent 7488580B1

Key points

  • Blood test identifies patients with MAP bacterial infection who may benefit from anti-MAP treatments such as antibiotics
  • Test results can also be used to monitor and evaluate treatment outcome
  • Nested PCR approach enhances specificity and sensitivity of the test


Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a diagnostic test for detecting Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). MAP infections are linked to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), such as Crohn’s disease. The exact cause of IBD is not known, and there are likely multiple etiologies for IBD in addition to MAP infection. Antibiotics are frequently used for IBD treatment; however, they are not effective for all patients, and treatment outcomes can vary. Hence, patients with confirmed MAP infections may be ideal candidates for antibiotic treatments, while those without MAP infection may not benefit from such treatments.

Technical Details

This technology relates to a nested PCR-based test for detecting MAP in patient blood samples and involves two successive PCR reactions. The two primer sets target the IS900 gene, a DNA insertion sequence unique to MAP. The first PCR round amplifies a 398 base pair fragment of the IS900 gene and the second PCR round re-amplifies a 298 base pair internal sequence.

The test results can be used to identify IBD patients with MAP infection who will benefit from anti-MAP treatments such as antibiotics. Additionally, the test can be used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the anti-MAP treatment in reducing the bacterial infection.

Stage of Development

Tested and validated with blood samples from IBD patients.


  • Nested PCR approach increases sensitivity and accuracy
  • Adaptable for high throughput screening
  • Identifies patients who will benefit from anti-MAP treatment

Market Applications

  • Diagnostic blood test for detecting MAP infection
  • Companion diagnostic for anti-MAP based treatments such as antibiotics