PCR: Clostridium Botulinum Toxin Genes

Laboratory Fee Schedule

Procedure #: BTA0040

CPT:  87798

PCR: Clostridium Botulinum Toxin Genes


Clostridium botulinum toxin gene PCR, Botulism

Requisition Form


Test Description

Detection of Clostridium botulinum toxin genes by PCR (Note: this detects the presence of toxin genes, which may or may not actively express toxin)

Pre-Approval Needed

•   DSHS Epidemiology consultation with physician required

•   Must notify BioThreat Team prior to sample submission: (512) 689-5537

Supplemental Information Required

Patient History

Supplemental Form(s)


Performed on Specimens from (sources)

Human; Environmental; Food (associated with a positive clinical sample)

Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

•   Anaerobic isolate

•   Stool

•   Gastric

•   Water enema

•   Wound swab

•   Tissue

•   Food (associated with a positive clinical sample)

Minimum Volume/Size Required

•  Feces: >10 g or 5 mL  

•   Vomitus or gastric aspirate: >20 mL

•   Food: >50 g

•   Wound swab: 1 required, 2 preferred

•   Tissue: pea-sized sample

Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping

•  Wound and tissue: maintain at ambient temperature              

•  All others: maintain at 2.0° to 8.0° C   (refrigerated)

Transport Medium

Isolates sent in anaerobic transport media

Specimen Labeling


•   At least 2 patient specific identifiers: First and last name as one identifier and a DOB or a unique patient specific identifier (e.g. Medical record number).

•   Specimen identification must match submission form.

Non-Human, Environmental or Food

•   Sample identification must match submission form.

Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements

•   Ship according to Dangerous Good Regulations, IATA, and/or CFR 49.

•   Handled as infectious agent using universal precautions.

•   Triple contained in accordance with federal shipping regulations for infectious agents.

•   See also Emergency Preparedness resources online.

•   Notify BioThreat Team prior to sample submission: (512) 689-5537



Turn-around Time

7- 14 days


Use dacron or rayon swabs for sample collection, as cotton swabs interfere with PCR. Material must be viable. Improper storage or shipping temperatures may limit organism recovery.

Causes for Rejection

Insufficient quantity, unacceptable specimen type or source, improper shipping conditions, expired media or collection container, discrepancies between specimen label and submission form, and/or incomplete or missing submission form

Additional Information

May be paired with Culture: Botulinum (human) and/or Botulinum- Toxin assay  


Last updated November 5, 2018