NTM Elite agar

Selective isolation of Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium

NTM Elite agar is an innovative selective medium for isolation of Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium (NTM) from respiratory specimens, including Cystic Fibrosis patient samples

  • High fertility and selectivity
  • No decontamination phase
  • Usable in routine microbiology laboratories


Widely present in the environment, Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic pathogens that can cause chronic pulmonary diseases. M.abscessus and M.avium complex are the most frequently encountered species in pulmonary infections. Associated with progressive lung damage, M.abscessus is also the most drug-resistant mycobacterium, extremely challenging to treat.(1)

In patients suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or Bronchiectasis, accurate diagnosis of NTM infection is essential to help clinicians target the right treatment and implement appropriate measures. Annual screening is now highly recommended, and regular follow-up is needed in positive cases.(2)

Designed for selective culture of NTM, the NTM Elite agar plate is the industrial version of the RGM medium. It enables easier and improved diagnosis compared to commonly used Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) culture media.


Improved workflow and accuracy

  • No prior decontamination needed
  • High selectivity85.6% versus 18.6%* 
  • Drastically improved fertility95% versus 40%*
  •  Incubation at 30°C enhances growth of NTM without allowing growth of BSL3** mycobacteria
  • Usable in routine BSL2** microbiology laboratories


* compared to AFB reference method: Lowenstein Jensen medium associated with MGIT medium

** BSL: BioSafety Level


Easy reading



(1)Pulmonary disease by non-tuberculous mycobacteria - clinical management, unmet needs and future perspectives.

Larsson, L. O., E. Polverino, W. Hoefsloot, L. R. Codecasa, R. Diel, S. G. Jenkins and M. R. Loebinger

Expert Rev Respir Med 2017 11(12): 977-989.

PubMed link:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28967797

Journal site link : https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abstract/10.1080/17476348.2017.1386563

(2)US Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and European Cystic Fibrosis Society consensus recommendations for the management of non-tuberculous mycobacteria in individuals with cystic fibrosis.

Floto, R. A., K. N. Olivier, L. Saiman, C. L. Daley, J. L. Herrmann, J. A. Nick, P. G. Noone, D. Bilton, P. Corris, R. L. Gibson, S. E. Hempstead, K. Koetz, K. A. Sabadosa, I. Sermet-Gaudelus, A. R. Smyth, J. van Ingen, R. J. Wallace, K. L. Winthrop, B. C. Marshall and C. S. Haworth

Thorax 2016 71 Suppl 1: i1-22.

PubMed link:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26666259

Journal  site link: https://thorax.bmj.com/content/71/Suppl_1/i1.long



 Please consult your local bioMérieux representative for product availability 



NTM Elite agar
Ref. 423144 20 plates x 90 mm






Please consult your local bioMérieux representative for product availability



  • Stephenson D, et al. (Freeman Hospital). An evaluation of methods for the isolation of nontuberculous mycobacteria from patients with cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and patients assessed for lung transplantation. BMC Pulmonary Medicine (2019).

  • Brown-Elliott BA, et al. Evaluation of a novel rapidly-growing mycobacteria medium for isolation of Mycobacterium abscessus complex from respiratory specimens from patients with bronchiectasis. Heliyon, 2019.

  • Rotcheewaphan S, et al (NIH). Performance of RGM Medium for Isolation of Non Tuberculous Mycobacteria from Respiratory Specimens from Non-Cystic Fibrosis Patients. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. February 2019 Volume 57 Issue 2.

  • Scohy A, et al. Comparison of the RGM medium and the mycobacterial growth indicator tube automated system for isolation of non-tuberculous mycobacteria from sputum samples of cystic fibrosis in Belgium. J Clin Tuberc Other Mycobact Dis. 2018.

  • Plongla R, et al. (Chapel Hill NC). Evaluation of RGM Medium for Isolation of Non Tuberculous Mycobacteria from Respiratory Samples from Patients with Cystic Fibrosis in the United States. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. May 2017 Volume 55 Issue 5. 1469-1477.

  • Eltringham I, et al. Comparison of mycobacterial growth indicator tube with culture on RGM selective agar for detection of mycobacteria in sputum samples from patients with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2016 August.

  • Preece CL, et al. (Freeman Hospital). Evaluation of Various Culture Media for Detection of Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria from Patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. July 2016 Volume 54 Number 7. 1797-1803.

  • Preece CL, et al. (Freeman Hospital). A novel culture medium for isolation of rapidly-growing mycobacteria from the sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis 15 (2016) 186-191.





  • Perry J, et al. Decontamination strategies used for AFB culture significantly reduce the viability of Mycobacterium abscessus in sputum samples from patients with cystic fibrosis.

    Abstract # 2188. Session: Increasing knowledge on NTMs - PS022. Poster # P0517.
  • Vrignaud M, et al. Compatibility of the new NTM Elite agar with MALDI-TOF for direct isolation and identification of non-tuberculous mycobacteria.

    Abstract # 2646. Session: Increasing knowledge on NTMs - PS022. Poster # P0511.
  • Vrignaud M, et al. Performances comparison between rapidly growing mycobacteria medium for direct-isolation of non-tuberculous mycobacteria, and its industrial version.

    Abstract # 2047.  Session: Increasing knowledge on NTMs - PS022- Poster # P0512.
  • Gafsi J et al. Performance of the NTM Elite agar for the detection of non-tuberculous mycobacteria in sputum samples of patients with cystic fibrosis.

    Abstract # 5277. Session: Clinical challenges and culture-based diagnostics – PS104. Poster # P2407.

The ECCMID Abstract Book 2020 is freely available in pdf format on the ESCMID website.

Abstracts can be found with their number.

ASM 2020

  • Vrignaud M, et al. Appropriateness of Utilization of NTM Elite agar for the Diagnosis of Nontuberculous  Mycobacteria Outside Biosafety Level 3 Laboratories.

    Abstract # 4705.


Please consult your local bioMérieux representative for product availability 



PRN# 059746 Rev 0.1A



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