What is the role of PCR in the diagnosis of leptospirosis?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Nucleic acid amplification (polymerase chain reaction [PCR])–based techniques have been developed to diagnose leptospirosis. PCR can confirm the diagnosis rapidly during the early phase of the disease, when leptospires may be present and before antibody titers are detectable, but it requires adequate infrastructure such as appropriate equipment, laboratory space, and skilled personnel. In addition, PCR-based techniques are unable to identify the infecting serovar, which reduce their epidemiologic and public health value.


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