Bacteriology Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis - PFGE

Bacteriology Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis - PFGE

Laboratory Fee Schedule

Procedure:  MCA0266A

CPT: 87152 


Bacteriology Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis - PFGE

Synonym(s): Genetic fingerprinting
Requisition Form G-2B
Test Description Test visualizes the relatedness of various bacterial species by genetic fingerprinting.
Pre-Approval Needed
  • Prior approval for organisms that are submitted for nosocomial investigations.
  • Prior approval needed for organisms from an environmental source, food source, or other non-human source.

    Contact state epidemiologist at 512-776-6352.
Supplemental Information Required If specimen is Staphylococcus or Enterococcus, submitter must specify if specimen is methicillin/ oxacillin-resistant or vancomycin-resistant.
Supplemental Form(s)
  • Include copy of susceptibilities for drug-resistant organisms. 
  • For isolates identified through culture independent diagnostic testing (CIDT- e.g. molecular methods), include a copy of assay results.
Performed on Specimens from (sources)
  • Pure bacterial isolates from human
  • Environmental
  • Food
    Raw human specimens such as stool are submitted to the Clinical Bacteriology Team. For, raw food and environmental sources, contact state epidemiologist. 
Sample/Specimen Type for Testing
  • Pure bacterial isolates from human, environmental, or food sources. 
  • Raw human specimens such as stool (submit to Clinical Bacteriology Team)
  • Raw food and environmental sources (contact State Epidemiologist) 
Minimum Volume/Size Required

At least one colony of live growth

Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping

Must be live bacterial growth

Transport Medium

Any media that sustains growth

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.
Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements

Ship samples:

  • According to Dangerous Goods Regulations, IATA, and/or CFR 49.
  • Handling as infectious agent using universal precautions
  • Triple-contained in accordance with federal shipping regulations for infectious agents 


Turn-around Time 14 business days from receipt (isolate may be sent to CDC for further study, which will affect turnaround time.)
Interferences/Limitations PFGE strain typing is intended to provide laboratory evidence that epidemiologically related isolates are also genetically related. Strain typing data do not substitute for epidemiological data. Both should be analyzed to determine whether an outbreak has occurred.
  • Genetic fingerprint pattern designations for each submitter are considered unique to each submitter.  Patterns are not intended for comparison of relatedness with any other submitter, unless a specific request is made for a special study.
  • Limited by database size for comparative studies of organism DNA patterns.
Common Causes for Rejection
  • No growth of isolate upon subculture
  • Mixed isolate (more than one organism submitted)
  • No name on isolate
  • At least two patient specific identifiers not included
  • Name mismatch (G2B form and isolate names do not match)
  • Isolate broke in transit
  • Failure to meet submission/shipping guidelines
Additional Information May be paired with
  • Salmonella spp. – Serotyping;
  • Shigella spp. – Serotyping; and/or
  • Bacterial culture.