Chapter 4 : Laboratory Diagnosis and Susceptibility Testing

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This chapter talks about laboratory diagnosis and susceptibility testing of complex. Clinical microbiology laboratories currently have a number of methods available that provide an accurate and rapid laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis. Mycobacterial culture of stool specimens may be of value in intestinal tuberculosis cases, but these are rare. This type of culture has been requested to detect - infections in patients with AIDS; however, given that intestinal involvement with - is thought to be a component of disseminated disease, a blood culture for mycobacteria is the specimen of choice in this setting. When colonies resembling mycobacteria are observed, an acid-fast smear and subculture for identification and susceptibility testing should be made. Nucleic acid probe testing or another comparable molecular method of identification can be performed on colonies as soon as they appear, and the definitive identification can be made if results are consistent with complex (, , BCG, , , and “”). Cultures are essential to exclude the possibility of mixed infections, which exist although are rare; in some instances, for further characterization or identification (most amplification tests give results only at the complex level); and, most importantly, for complete antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Susceptibility tests should be performed on all isolates of complex recovered from previously untreated patients and also on isolates from patients on therapy who have positive acid- fast smears or cultures after 2 months of treatment.

Citation: Procop G, Roberts G. 2011. Laboratory Diagnosis and Susceptibility Testing, p 66-74. In Schlossberg D (ed), Tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections, Sixth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817138.ch4
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