The use of the polymerase chain reaction test in the diagnosis of tuberculosis
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Current techniques for laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis have some serious limitations. These include the high cost and time required for the current assays. The development of a rapid, sensitive, specific and low-cost assay is therefore of considerable importance. We report here the development and laboratory testing of a polymerase chain reaction DNA-based diagnostic test for the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in sputum. The assay shows a high level of sensitivity and specificity and requires considerably less capital, consumables and time inputs than existing laboratory tests. We believe this technology is ready for large-scale evaluation and use, particularly in hospital-based laboratories.
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