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Free Content Role of IS6110 uniplex PCR in the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis: experience at a tertiary neurocentre

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SETTING: Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is the commonest form of neurotuberculosis in the Indian subcontinent. Rapid laboratory confirmation of TBM is important for the institution of early treatment and to avoid associated morbidity and mortality. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most widely applied alternative rapid diagnostic technique for TBM.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of an in-house developed IS6110 uniplex PCR (uPCR) in the diagnosis of TBM.

DESIGN: A prospective, blinded study was conducted in a large sample base of 677 cerebrospinal fluid samples from 677 patients with clinically suspected TBM.

RESULTS: All culture-positive samples (n = 136) were positive (100%) by the PCR assay. The assay was found to be positive in 70% (n = 541) of the samples with a clinical diagnosis of TBM. The assay had an observed sensitivity of 76.37% (negative predictive value 59.90%) and a specificity of 89.18% (positive predictive value 94.69%). A diagnostic accuracy of 80% (kappa 0.57) was seen in patients with a clinical diagnosis of TBM. Statistical significance was observed, as patients with a clinical diagnosis of TBM were found to be 9.38 times more likely to be PCR-positive (OR 9.38, χ2 = 149.94, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The performance of the in-house IS6110 uPCR assay merits its use as a sensitive and specific tool for the rapid diagnosis of TBM.

Keywords: IS6110 uniplex PCR; cerebrospinal fluid; tuberculous meningitis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neuromicrobiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India 2: Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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