The importance of diagnosing Mycobacterium tuberculosis by real time PCR Compared with the approved diagnostic methods in the Clinical Laboratory
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Tuberculosis remains a serious public health problem worldwide. Zheil-Neelsen stained smear and culture on Lowenstein Jensen(LJ) media are conventional methods used for the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in most developing countries. PCR for the diagnosis of tuberculosis is not evaluated in developing countries.
To evaluate the ability of PCR to diagnose MTB in pulmonary and extra-pulmonary samples, and to compare it with the results of ZN and LJ.
Samples obtained from 96 patients of suspected TB (pulmonary and extra-pulmonary) were processed for detection of MTB by ZN smear examination, LJ medium culture and Real time PCR test.
The sensitivity of PCR was 100% compared to 17, 4% for smear microscopy and 100% for LJ culture as a golden standard. PCR sensitivity in pulmonary and extra-pulmonary samples was 96.2% and 100% respectively. The mean detection time for MTB was 6 weeks by LJ medium culture, less than one day by PCR and 4 days by ZN for 96 samples.
PCR is a rapid and sensitive method for the early diagnosis of pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis.
Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Real time PCR, ZN staining, LJ medium culture, pulmonary TB, extra pulmonary.