Diagnosis of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex by direct PCR of mediastinal lymphnode DNA and microbiological tests were compared in cattle suspicious of bearing tuberculous-like lesions detected during slaughter. The PCR procedure applied on DNA samples (n=54) obtained by adding alpha -casein into the thiocyanate extraction mix was positive in 70% of the samples. PCR confirmed the identification of 23 samples (100%) that grew in culture, 9 samples (60%) that failed to grow in culture, plus 6 (37.5%) samples that resulted in growth of bacterial contaminants. Genotyping by IS6110-RFLP and DR-spoligotyping analysis of seven samples revealed the presence of several polimorphisms. Seven of the isolates contained multiple copies of IS6110, thus defining the existence of five singular genotypes.