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The limitations of polymerase chain reaction in the setting of possible recurrent tuberculosis: 2 instructional cases.

Schulz TR, Street AC, McBryde ES

  • Journal Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease

  • Published 24 Jan 2011

  • Volume 68

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination 293-6

  • DOI 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2010.07.022


The interpretation of a positive result for Mycobacterium tuberculosis by nucleic acid amplification such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be challenging. We present 2 cases that illustrate the limitations of tuberculosis PCR on respiratory secretions in previously treated patients, even years after the previous disease episode.