Successful applications of real-time PCR have been developed for detection of drug-resistant bacterial strains or antimicrobial testing of bacteria (Rolain et al., 2004). Examples include Helicobacter pylori (Lascols et al., 2003), Staphylococcus aureus (Huletsky et al., 2004), Enterecocci (Sloan et al., 2004), Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium (Woodford et al., 2002). One of the most harmful human pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, may be one of the best examples for underlining the importance of rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing with real-time PCR. M. tuberculosis strains resistant to anti-tuberculosis agents are being detected more frequently and emergence of these strains threatens the capability of controlling the disease worldwide (Wada et al., 2004). Approximately 3.2% of the new tuberculosis cases are reported to be caused by multidrug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis (Viedma et al., 2003). Although the culture method still remains as the gold standard for susceptibility testing, it takes at least two weeks to get results (Wada et al., 2004). New real-time PCR systems for detection and identification of multidrug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains bring new opportunities to clinics for effective treatment of tuberculosis (van Doorn et al., 2003, Rindi et al., 2003).
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