What is the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in the diagnosis of Legionnaires disease?

Updated: Aug 24, 2018
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay of urine, serum, and bronchiolar lavage fluid is very specific for the detection of legionellae, but the sensitivity is not greater than that of culture. The primary benefit of this procedure, like IFA titers, is that it can be used to detect infections caused by legionellae other than L pneumophila serogroup 1.


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