PATIENTS | Advanced qPCR and NGS DNA diagnostics for troubling infections | MicroGen Diagnostics

PATIENTS | Advanced qPCR and NGS DNA diagnostics for troubling infections

We understand your frustration.

You shouldn’t have suffer with the ongoing pain and discomfort of an unresolved infection. But the reason the antibiotics you’ve received so far aren’t working is likely because your doctor is relying on an old diagnostic technology called “culture.” Watch the video for an overview of problems with that technology, and how MicroGenDX overcomes those shortcomings with more accurate, comprehensive, and effective DNA diagnostics.

Why can't my insurance's in-network lab perform this test?

A common question asked by patients is why this cutting edge technology isn’t always available from labs in their insurance network. That is because this technology is very time-consuming and expensive to develop, and it has taken MicroGenDX 12 years to perfect their testing and offer it at a reasonable price. Other labs simply have not caught up with what MicroGenDX can do more cheaply, more rapidly, and more comprehensively than anyone else. MicroGenDX DNA diagnostics are a unique offering.

DNA diagnostics from MicroGenDX are the right choice for your troubling infection

More reliable and more accurate than standard culture tests

Standard culture grows microbes in a petri dish, and just isn’t that reliable (in fact, many culture results come back “no growth” because the bacteria or fungi causing infection either can’t be grown in culture easily...or won’t grow at all). MicroGenDX DNA diagnostic tests instead identify all of the bacteria and fungi present by detecting their DNA — and do so with 99% accuracy. In fact, scientists now use NGS exclusively to detect microbes in their research, because less than 1% of microbes can even be grown in culture!

Proven effectiveness

MicroGenDX DNA diagnostic tests have a proven track record. There have been more than 35 published clinical studies demonstrating the superior effectiveness of MicroGenDX testing in resolving chronic, complex, or recurring infections, especially as compared to traditional culture. MicroGenDX DNA diagnostics provide your healthcare provider with the information they need to best treat your infection.

Speedy results

Your doctor will receive the first DNA diagnostic results within just 24-48 hours, with a more comprehensive and detailed follow-up in 3.5 days.

MicroGenDX testing is NOT just PCR

Many other laboratories offer DNA testing called “PCR.” MicroGenDX also offers PCR, but combines it with Next-Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS), which is a much more sophisticated form of DNA diagnostics. For example, PCR tests are limited to detecting perhaps 20-30 known pathogens, while MicroGenDX’s NGS can detect up to 50,000, and actually shows the percentage of each so we can see who the main infective culprits might be. That’s a very important difference, especially when treating complex infections that may involve multiple bacterial or fungal species.

This FAQ is for patients only for Physician FAQ please click here

Patient FAQs

1How can I order a test as a patient?
As a patient, you can order a test kit, but within the United States you have to have a doctor sign/order the testing itself. For international patients, we do not require a physician signature, but we are restricted from providing antibiotic recommendations for any test that is not signed/ordered by a physician. We also cannot retroactively generate those antibiotic recommendations, even if a physician signature is received after testing is completed.
2What is the cost of this test?
Most of our qPCR+NGS tests are $249 for patient self-pay. We do bill insurance, but after we bill insurance the price to you could change depending on your deductible and how much of the cost your insurance will cover. If you have questions about insurance coverage, please contact the MicroGenDX Billing Department directly at 1-855-208-0019, option 2. Our other diagnostic test prices (for example, qPCR-only tests) change frequently as we continue to expand our testing.
3I am a patient, but am outside the United States. Can you charge my non-U.S. based insurance carrier?
We are a U.S. lab and our contracts are with U.S. insurance carriers. Unfortunately, you must prepay for the test, and we cannot bill a non-U.S. insurance carrier.
4How can I obtain results as a patient?
Since we deal with physicians, the results are automatically sent to the ordering doctor. We can send a copy of the results to the patient, but you must sign a release form. This is because we do not see or meet patients face to face to have them sign a release form prior to the test being done. Since we deal with them only via phone, we must protect us and them against identity issues.
5How can I send a sample to your lab?
The best way is to order a test kit via our website. Each kit comes with a lab requisition order form, a biohazard bag, a shipping box, and either swabs, cups, or tubes depending on the sample being collected. Our shipping boxes already have a prepaid billable FedEx overnight label on them so that, once the sample is collected, it can be placed in a FedEX drop box.
6How long should I have discontinued antibiotics before testing?
You should discontinue antibiotics 48 hours prior to testing if possible. However, if your physician tells you to keep taking them, please follow their direction.
7Will other medications affect the sample?
While we do not have any research regarding probiotics, prebiotics, or herbs, if you can discontinue taking them prior to the test, please do. Pain medication will not affect the samples.
8Why is a doctor’s authorization required for me to take a MicroGenDX test?
In the U.S. medical system, we are legally required to obtain physician authorization for each test. This facilitates all of the proper documentation and collection for insurance reimbursement.
9Is how I collect samples for the test important?
Yes. You will receive illustrated sampling instructions with the test that help you collect a sample without contaminating it. As one example, it is critical to clean the skin surrounding the urethra prior to obtaining a urine sample so that bacteria on the skin isn't included in your sample.

Shipping FAQs

1Do you use any other shipping carriers?
We only use FedEx, but you are welcome to use a carrier of your choice at your own cost.
2Can I put more than one sample in a box?
Yes please, but keep each sample it its own biohazard bag.

Results/Test FAQs

1Why is this test not a culture test with sensitivities?
We sequence DNA of samples on machines. Cultures are grown in a dish. Sensitivities are when antibiotics are put in the culture dish to see if the growth stops. Since we are not growing anything, our machines will find resistance genes instead.
2Why do the Gastro and Respiratory tests only have one part (qPCR), and not include NGS?
The respiratory viral test is for viruses. If your doctor needs us to look for bacteria and fungi, that would be the standard < a href="">ENT qPCR+NGS test. Our Gastro intestinal panel is done on human feces to identify typical infections found there, which are caused by viruses and parasites from the gut. NGS is used to identify bacteria and fungi.
3What is the turnaround time?
24-48 hours for qPCR, 3-5 business days for NGS.
4Why is something detected in a Level 2 test (+NGS), but not Level 1 (qPCR)?
This sometimes happens when a bacterial or fungal strain has a mutation, which will cause it to not be detected by qPCR. qPCR is very specific in what bug it is looking for, but the Level 2 NGS can detect mutations and a much larger variety of microbes.
5Why doesn’t the combined % of detected species add up to 100%?
We only report species that represent 2% or more in a sample.
6Is the MicroGenDX DNA diagnostics test experimental technology?
Absolutely not! Both NGS and PCR have been used to reliably detect microbes for nearly twenty years. They have also been relied upon for advanced clinical diagnostics by the most prestigious medical researchers and institutions in the U.S. for over a decade, but those tests were often very expensive. During twelve years of development, MicroGenDX has been able to provide this same advanced DNA diagnostics technology at a much lower cost, and with a much faster turnaround time, than anyone else in the industry. That is what makes MicroGenDX testing innovative!


UTI symptoms that don’t resolve

Persistent sinusitis

Wounds that aren’t responding to treatment

Joint infections after orthopedic surgery

Nail issues that over the counter medicine is not helping

Persistent cough, congestion, or difficulty breathing

Sexually transmitted infections

Infections of the skin that will not heal

Recurring eye infections

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