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J Clin Microbiol. Feb 1996; 34(2): 450–453.
PMCID: PMC228819

Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in cerebrospinal fluid following immunomagnetic enrichment.


The detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by culture of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is unacceptably slow. Low numbers of organisms and the presence of reaction inhibitors may prevent detection of M. tuberculosis by PCR. We used immunomagnetic enrichment to accelerate and enhance the detection of mycobacteria in CSF after demonstrating the utility of the method with pure suspensions. Growth was detected earlier in Bactec cultures of magnetically recovered mycobacteria than in untreated CSF (7 versus 15 days). We detected M. tuberculosis DNA by PCR in the immunomagnetically enriched sample but not in untreated CSF. PCR fingerprintings of the immunomagnetically recovered M. tuberculosis and of the isolate subsequently recovered by culture were identical.

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Selected References

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