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Free Content Application of a computer-directed automated microscope in mycobacteriology [Technical Note]

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Microscopy is currently the fastest, cheapest and most easily performed technique in mycobacteriology; it can be used in any laboratory. However, the sensitivity of microscopy is unsatisfactory and it is time-consuming. To eliminate these drawbacks, we have constructed a computer-directed automated microscope. To evaluate the equipment, we examined a total of 132 smears of sputum and 74 smears of liquid media. Manual microscopy was positive for 53 and negative for 79 sputum smears, while automated microscopy was positive for 55 and negative for 77 sputum smears. Both methods furnished 50 positive and 24 negative smears of liquid media. We conclude that the automated microscope is able to detect acid-fast bacteria, the examination procedure with the instrument is more rapid (1.8–3.5 min/slide) and it is always possible to follow the standard recommendations of microscopy.
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Keywords: acid-fast microscopy; automation; mycobacteria

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Semmelweis University of Medicine, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Laboratory for Mycobacteria, Budapest, Hungary 2: Biological Laboratory Equipment Maintenance and Service (BLS) Ltd, Budapest, Hungary

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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