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Advent in technologies for molecular diagnosis of tuberculosis

Narotam Sharma, Satish C Nautiyal, Prabhjyot Kaur, Deepti Singh, Rakhi Kaushik, Pratima Singh and Shweta Rawat

The incidence of Tuberculosis varies considerably around the world and most Mycobacterial infections in developing nations are still being caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis members. A quick and correct diagnosis is of great importance because of the high morbidity. Unfortunately, conventional bacteriological methods are time consuming, their sensitivity is low, and so treatment occasionally becomes empirical. PCR method has high specificity in identifying M. tuberculosis in various specimens. Molecular diagnostic tools for Tuberculosis (TB) have evolved quickly with new innovations which can provide unprecedented opportunities for the rapid, sensitive and specific diagnosis of M. tuberculosis in clinical specimens and the status of its drug sensitivity. Microscopy and culture methods can not be replaced but the molecular assays can be applied in parallel with any new molecular tests for the diagnosis of TB. For extra pulmonary specimens, the use of the amplification methods is advocated, since rapid and accurate laboratory diagnosis is critical. Customization of the diagnostic usefulness of a molecular assay, according to the ease, reliability and need for health care sector is of immense value in a modern clinical Mycobacteriology laboratory.