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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Dec;953:138-45.

Molecular techniques in the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the detection of drug resistance.

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PHLS Mycobacterium Reference Unit, Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, King's College Hospital (Dulwich), London, UK.


Early diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis disease is crucial in initiating treatment and interrupting the train of transmission. The increasing incidence of MDR TB worldwide has also placed emphasis on the need for early detection of drug resistance, particularly to isoniazid and rifampicin. Molecular diagnostic techniques and automated culture systems have reduced turnaround times in the modern mycobacteriology laboratory, and the continuing evaluation and development of such techniques is increasing the use of molecular technology in developed nations. Simple phenotypic methods for the detection of resistance to first-line drugs and genotypic kit-form assays for detection of rifampicin resistance have been developed that have become key tools in the containment of MDR TB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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