What we do

The Irish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory (IMRL) is the national reference laboratory for Mycobacteriology. Mycobacteriology is the study of tuberculosis and other non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Established in 2001, the laboratory provides a specimen and culture referral service for hospitals throughout Ireland. Approximately 6,000 specimens are processed annually and the laboratory receives almost 500 mycobacterial cultures per year.

The IMRL is based within the Clinical Microbiology Department of St. James’s Hospital and is fully INAB (Irish National Accreditation Board) accredited.

The IMRL provides the following services to Clinical Microbiology laboratories throughout the country:

  • Processing of routine specimens from patients for mycobacteria investigation.
  • Use of molecular tests on smear positive samples to rapidly identify the presence of mycobacteria and screen for drug resistance in M.tuberculosis complex.
  • Rapid molecular detection of M. tuberculosis complex and rifampicin resistance determination performed on smear negative samples upon request by Consultant Microbiologist.
  • Species identification of mycobacteria using molecular techniques.
  • Susceptibility testing of M. tuberculosis complex to standard anti- mycobacterial drugs.
  • Molecular genotyping, epidemiology, and comparison of M. tuberculosis complex strains.
  • Assistance with isolation of mycobacteria in difficult cases.
  • Advice to clinicians and laboratories in relation to the diagnosis, treatment and infection control of tuberculosis.


The IMRL is also involved with training of medical and scientific staff, research and the provision of epidemiological information in co-operation with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).


Name PositionPhone Email 
Prof. Tom Rogers Clinical Director

(01) 8962131, 

(01) 4284611

Prof. Joseph Keane Consultant Respiratory Physician (01) 4103910
Dr. Margaret Fitzgibbon Chief Medical Scientist (01) 4162963
Dr. Emma Roycroft  Specialist Medical Scientist  (01) 4284211
Ms. Lorraine Montgomery Senior Medical Scientist (01) 4284211
IMRL direct line TB laboratory  (01) 4284211



IMRL User Manual Ed.10

IMRL Culture Request Form

Fax Form for Culture Dispatch to IMRL (Ed.5)


An INAB accredited Medical Testing Laboratory, Registration Number 327MT

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