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Direct amplification and species determination of microsporidian DNA from stool specimens

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Microsporidia are recognized as a major aetiological agent in chronic diarrhoea of immunocompromised patients. Their detection by light microscopy is hampered by the small size of the spores. A simple and rapid DNA extraction method has been developed for the detection of microsporidian DNA by PCR directly from stool specimens. It can be performed at room temperature in a 1.5‐ml microcentrifuge tube format in less than 1 hour. The subsequent nested polymerase chain reaction permits the detection of 3–100 spores in a 0.1‐g stool sample. The amplification products can be verified and the species Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon cuniculi and Encephalitozoon (Septata) intestinalis distinguished by a simple restriction endonuclease digest.

Keywords: DNA; PCR; microsporidia

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, University of Munich, Germany, 2: Municipal Hospital München-Schwabing, Munich, Germany, 3: Auguste-Viktoria-Hospital, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 1996


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