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Laboratory diagnosis of infection 

Laboratory diagnosis of infection
Chapter:
Laboratory diagnosis of infection
Author(s):

Mike Sharland

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199573585.003.0140
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date: 13 November 2018

Introduction 220

Stages in laboratory testing 221

Laboratory diagnostic techniques 224

Interpretation of results 228

Future research 229

Further reading 229

The purpose of laboratory diagnosis of infection is to assist the clinician in determining whether or not a patient has a significant infection. Even when all stages of laboratory testing are conducted optimally, few if any tests are 100% accurate. Test accuracy depends partly on the inherent properties of the test itself, but it is also influenced by variables such as sample volume and quality. This is often a problem in paediatrics. It is important that the requester understands the limitations of the tests that he or she orders, so that only appropriate tests are requested, good quality samples reach the laboratory, and that the results are interpreted appropriately....

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