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Revista del Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias

Print version ISSN 0187-7585


LANIADO-LABORIN, Rafael  and  CABRALES-VARGAS, Noemí. A positive sputum smear test is not always indicative of pulmonary TB: Another reason to order routine cultures. Rev. Inst. Nal. Enf. Resp. Mex. [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.4, pp.286-289. ISSN 0187-7585.

The Ziehl-Neelsen (IN) stain is rapid and economic technique for the identification of acid-fast organisms, primarily Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, the presence of acid-fast bacilli can not be considered as proof of tuberculosis; there is a wide variety of acid-fast microorganisms including non-tuberculous mycobacteria and even Nocardia spp and this could be a cause of misidentification. To illustrate this point, we present a patient with pulmonary nocardiosis and another with non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis that were initially misdiagnosed and treated for tuberculosis

Keywords : Ziehl-Neelsen stain; false positive; tuberculosis; nocardiosis.

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