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Infez Med. 2012 Dec;20(4):237-44.

[Impact of recent advances in molecular techniques on diagnosing lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs)].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1SOC di Microbiologia e Virologia, A.O. S. Maria degli Angeli, Pordenone, Italy.


At present there is still a great deficit in the routine aetiological diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs): in most studies more than 50% of cases have no aetiological diagnosis, resulting in prescribing unnecessary or inappropriate antibiotics. A wide variety of diagnostic procedures and techniques are applied to detect the aetiological pathogens of LRTIs. Traditional diagnostic culture methods lack sensitivity, are not feasible in many contexts, and focus only on a few of the large number of aetiological agents. Molecular methods are revolutionizing the diagnostic procedures for managing patients with LRTIs, resulting from a combination of improved sensitivity and specificity, a potential for automatisation and the production of very rapid results.

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