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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004 May;23(5):353-65. Epub 2004 Apr 27.

Current trends in the molecular diagnosis of infective endocarditis.

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Department of Bacteriology, Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AD, UK.


The introduction of molecular methods into biomedical science, particularly nucleic acid amplification techniques including the polymerase chain reaction, has significantly improved the diagnosis of several diseases. Likewise, the adoption of such molecular techniques to aid in the detection and identification of causal organisms in patients with infective endocarditis (IE) has been particularly beneficial in cases of difficult, atypical or culture-negative IE. Several different molecular approaches have been suggested for the diagnosis of IE, including variations in the type of cardiological specimens examined, nucleic acid extraction, gene target and molecular platform, each presenting their own advantages and disadvantages. This review examines the molecular approach to the detection and identification of causal agents of IE and provides details and a discussion of the application of such methods, particularly those implemented over the last 7 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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