What is the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the workup of mycoplasmal pneumonia?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Michael Joseph Bono, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been shown to accurately diagnose atypical pneumonia and is becoming the criterion standard confirmatory test for M pneumoniae. [34, 35] This test has been used for epidemiologic studies but is not currently used in most clinical settings. Real-time PCR is a promising test that allows detection of M pneumoniae DNA in all phases of infection, including early periods when the serum may be negative for antibody. [36, 37]

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