Culture shock. Molecular methods for diagnosis of infectious diseases

Med J Aust. 1999 Nov 15;171(10):536-9.


Nucleic acid detection methods, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), can often detect specific microbial pathogens, virulence markers and antimicrobial resistance genes more rapidly and with greater sensitivity and specificity than culture and conventional identification and susceptibility testing. Multiplex PCR can detect multiple genes in a single assay; this capability will be greatly extended by new techniques such as the DNA chip. However, limitations and pitfalls of nucleic detection methods remain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Primers
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Infections / diagnosis*
  • Infections / genetics
  • Microbiological Techniques*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods
  • Nucleic Acid Probes
  • Nucleic Acids / analysis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA Primers
  • Nucleic Acid Probes
  • Nucleic Acids