Diagnostic Significance of Polymerase Chain Reaction as Compare to Culture and Direct Microscopy in Cases of Pulmonary Tuberculosis

  • Deepak Kumar Warkade Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Kaustaubh Patil Post Graduate Student, Department of Medicine
  • Lalit Jain Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Keywords: Culture, Polymerase chain reaction, Pulmonary tuberculosis, Ziehl–Neelsen staining


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is presently an important health problem worldwide. Situation has changed in recent years due to AIDS pandemic. Hence, it urges the need to introduce specific methods for rapid diagnosis to avoid unnecessary or improper treatment. At present, sputum microscopy is the sole rapid diagnostic method available. Sputum culture may require more than 2 weeks to confirm diagnosis. Hence, detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by enzymatic amplification (polymerase chain reaction [PCR]) has been found useful in diagnosis of pulmonary TB.
Materials and Methods: The present study includes 45 sputum samples of patients presenting to TB chest OPD with productive cough for more than 2 weeks. Diagnostic tests are applied on sputum samples - direct microscopy by Ziehl–Neelsen staining, culture by modified Petroff’s method, and PCR by commercially available kit (Bio basic INC).
Results: Of 45 sputum sample, TB was confirmed by culture in 19 patients, acid-fast bacilli detected in 18 of 19 patients, and all of these patients were positive for PCR.
Conclusion: PCR is extremely helpful in detecting Mycobacterium TB in sputum sample as compare to culture and direct microscopy.

Author Biographies

Deepak Kumar Warkade, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

NSCB Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India

Kaustaubh Patil, Post Graduate Student, Department of Medicine

NSCB Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India

Lalit Jain, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

NSCB Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India


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