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Open Access Detection of Mycoplasma pulmonis by Fluorogenic Nuclease Polymerase Chain Reaction Analysis

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Mycoplasma pulmonis induces persistent infections in laboratory mice and rats and can contaminate biological materials. We developed a fluorogenic nuclease polymerase chain reaction (fnPCR) assay to detect M. pulmonis specifically. Primer and probe sequences for the assay were targeted to 16S rRNA sequences specific to M. pulmonis. The assay consistently detected the equivalent of fewer than 10 copies of template DNA. When evaluated against a panel of 24 species of bacteria, the M. pulmonis assay detected only M. pulmonis isolates. Evaluation of 10-fold serial dilutions of cultured M. pulmonis showed that the M. pulmonis fnPCR assay and culture on Dutch agar had comparable sensitivity in detecting viable M. pulmonis organisms, whereas the mouse antibody production test displayed positive serologic results at dilutions higher than those in which viable organisms could be detected. Finally, the M. pulmonis fnPCR assay was able to detect M. pulmonis DNA in nasopharyngeal wash fluid and trachea, lung, and uterus tissue collected from mice naturally infected with M. pulmonis but did not detect the organism in similar samples collected from uninfected, negative control mice. The M. pulmonis fnPCR assay provides a high-throughput, PCR-based method to detect M. pulmonis in infected rodents and contaminated biological materials.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of University Animal Care, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 2: Departments of University Animal Care, and Veterinary Science and Microbiology, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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