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Immune response to mycobacterial infection: lessons from flow cytometry.

Detecting and treating active and latent tuberculosis are pivotal elements for effective infection control; yet, due to their significant inherent limitations, the diagnostic means for these two stages of tuberculosis (TB) to date remain suboptimal. This paper reviews the current diagnostic tools for mycobacterial infection and focuses on the application of flow cytometry as a promising method for rapid and reliable diagnosis of mycobacterial infection as well as discrimination between active and latent TB: it summarizes diagnostic biomarkers distinguishing the two states of infection and also features of the distinct immune response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) at certain stages of infection as revealed by flow cytometry to date.

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