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Open Access Evaluation of a protocol for molecular broad-range diagnosis of culture-negative bacterial infections in clinical routine diagnosis

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Abstract Aim: 

Introduction of a protocol for broad-range diagnosis of bacterial infections, which remain negative in culture. Methods and Results: 

The new TaqMan real-time PCR assay amplifies part of the 16S rRNA gene. Species are identified by subsequent sequencing and phylogeneticblastanalysis. The analytical sensitivity showed to be 50 fg DNA per PCR. The lowest detectable bacterial cell concentration in blood was 1000 CFU per 200 μl EDTA-blood. The utility in clinical routine diagnosis was evaluated by testing 136 clinical specimens. Bacterial pathogens were detected in 33 samples (24ยท3%) either by culture or molecular diagnosis. In 10 culture negative cases, pathogens such as Mycoplasma timone/orale, Ureaplasma parvum/urealyticum, Treponema pallidum, different streptococci and staphylococci were identified by molecular diagnosis only. Conclusions: 

The introduced broad-range real-time PCR protocol showed to be useful in the clinical routine in cases where bacterial infection was highly anticipated but culture remained negative. However, the obtained data have to be always interpreted with caution and in conjunction with the clinical data, crossing-point values and with the Blastresult of both the sample and the controls. Significance and Impact of the Study: 

This work introduces a new and well-evaluated broad-range real-time PCR protocol for diagnosis of bacterial infections.
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Keywords: 16S rRNA; TaqMan; bacterial infections; molecular diagnosis; real-time PCR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2008

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