What is the role of PCR in the workup of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) meningitis?

Updated: Jul 09, 2018
  • Author: Prateek Lohia, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is an emerging technique that may ultimately be useful in identifying the organism when the Gram stain and culture results are negative. However, its application to bacterial meningitis has been limited by a significant number of false-positive results caused by amplification of contaminating DNA and mispriming.

An advantage of both bacterial antigen tests and PCR is that the results are not affected by treatment with oral antibiotics before presentation.


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