A multiple PCR-based assay that targets IS6110 and the mtp40 gene was evaluated for the rapid differentiation of Mycobacterium bovis and M. tuberculosis, two of the causative agents of tuberculosis. The IS6110 target is present in both species, whereas the mtp40 gene was thought to be specific for M.tuberculosis (P.Del Portillo, L.A. Murillo, and M.E. Patarroyo, J. Clin. Microbiol. 29:2163-2168, 1991). However, the mtp-40 gene is not present in all M. tuberculosis strains and, hence, is not useful for differentiating M.tuberculosis and M.bovis.