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


  • Infant 5-10 g or 5 mL enema
  • Adult 5-50 g or 5 mL enema 

Vomitus or gastric aspirate

  • 20 mL 


  • 50 g

Wound swab

  • 1 required, 2 preferred


  • Pea-sized sample

Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping

Wound and tissue

  • Maintain at ambient temperature               

All others

  • Maintain at 2° to 8° C (refrigerated)

Transport Medium

Isolates sent in anaerobic transport media

Specimen Labeling


  • Two patient-specific identifiers required (e.g., patient full name, date of birth, Medical record number)
  • Identifiers on specimen must exactly 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.

Common 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
  • Incomplete or missing submission form

Additional Information

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