Microbiology

The Department of Microbiology at UT Health Science Center conducts clinical and basic research of nontuberculous mycobacteria and the other aerobic actinomycetes. Under the direction of Dr. Richard J. Wallace Jr., and Barbara A. Brown-Elliott, MS, MT(ASCP) SM, our laboratory has achieved a worldwide reputation for excellence in susceptibility testing, identification, and treatment.
Researchers have more than 30 years of experience in investigation of nontuberculous mycobacteria. This group of bacteria is closely related to the agent that causes tuberculosis and includes groups known as rapidly growing mycobacteria and Mycobacterium avium complex.

Research Activities

  • Clinical and laboratory studies of new drugs for treatment of nontuberculous mycobacteria species Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium chelonae, Mycobacterium abscessus, Mycobacterium kansasii, and Mycobacterium avium complex
  • Treatment trials of new drugs
  • DNA fingerprinting to study how these organisms are spread from one source to another and if outbreak of epidemic strains is the same or different
  • Testing isolates of other aerobic actinomycetes, including species of nontuberculous mycobacteria, Nocardia sp., Gordonia, Rhodococcus, Tsukamurella, Streptomyces, etc. View our Laboratory Testing Procedures.

Functions and Services

  • Laboratory susceptibility studies and clinical investigational studies of newer antimicrobial agents for the nontuberculous mycobacteria and nocardia
  • Susceptibility testing of nontuberculous mycobacteria to standard and investigational drugs
  • Internationally renowned reference laboratory
  • Identification of aerobic actinomycetes (especially Nocardia sp.) and nontuberculous mycobacteria by gene sequencing.
  • Molecular identification of NTM and aerobic actinomycetes by 16S rRNA sequence and other genes (rpoβ, erm, etc.)
  • DNA fingerprinting of isolates from outbreaks or epidemics of disease due to mycobacteria and other aerobic actinomycetes by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) or other molecular techniques
  • Laboratory and clinical consultation in epidemiological studies involving mycobacteria and other aerobic actinomycetes
  • Technical assistance (methods, techniques, etc.) to referral laboratories and physicians
  • International and national collaboration with experienced scientists in the areas of mycobacteriology and the aerobic actinomycetes
  • Clinical consultations to physicians and other healthcare workers in the treatment of diseases and infections caused by mycobacteria and other aerobic actinomycetes

Contact Us

Joanne Woodring
(903) 877-7732 (o)
(903) 877-7989 (f)