Investigation of Laboratory cross-contamination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures.

L. Fitzpatrick, C. Braden, W. Cronin, J. English, E. Campbell, S. Valway, I. Onorato

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21 Scopus citations


Many clinicians and laboratory personnel are unaware that a culture positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis may represent contamination. Laboratory cross-contamination with the M. tuberculosis laboratory control strain (H37Ra) occurs infrequently and therefore demands heightened awareness and recognition. We report 3 occurrences of laboratory cross-contamination from the same laboratory. These occurrences illustrate the importance of interpreting laboratory results in conjunction with the patient's clinical presentation. Failure to recognize laboratory cross-contamination with M. tuberculosis leads to both erroneous administration of unnecessary medications and expenditure of resources required to conduct contact investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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