With good reason, there has been growing interest in the development of bacterial diagnostic methods that do not require the actual growth of the microorganism. Present culture methods are inherently slow and the results are subject to interference by contamination and prior antimicrobial therapy. In addition, some body sites cannot be sampled without substantial procedure. Although these culture methods will continue to be the routine for diagnosis and identification for some time yet and although they will remain the standard to which all new developments are compared, certain newer methods offer great promise in their rapidity and simplicity. In certain situations, these methods may actually be more accurate indicators of pathogenicity and deep infection.
Several investigators have reported success in the detection of a specific bacterial antigen or antibody directed against specific bacterial antigen in the serums and body fluids of infected patients. Most often the method used has been