Broad-range real time PCR and DNA sequencing for the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis

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  • Susanna Deutch, Department of Infectious Diseases, Research Unit Q, Skejby Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Lisbeth N Pedersen
  • ,
  • Lone Pødenphant
  • Rikke Olesen
  • Michael B Schmidt
  • ,
  • Jens K Møller
  • ,
  • Lars Ostergaard

Rapid aetiological diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is crucial for the early targeting of antimicrobial and adjuvant therapy. Broad-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the 16S rRNA gene allows aetiological diagnosis of bacterial meningitis when applied to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We assessed the additional diagnostic effect of applying a novel broad-range real time PCR and subsequent DNA sequencing to culture, microscopy, and broad-range conventional PCR on CSF in patients with suspected bacterial meningitis. Broad-range conventional PCR and broad-range real time PCR with subsequent DNA sequencing were applied to 206 CSF specimens collected consecutively from 203 patients aged 6 d to 86 y. Patients' charts were reviewed for clinical information. 17 pathogens were identified by PCR and DNA sequencing or culture. Three specimens were negative by culture but positive by broad-range real time PCR. Three specimens were positive by culture but negative by broad-range real time PCR. Compared with culture, the sensitivity of broad-range real time PCR was 86%, and the specificity 98%. Conventional PCR resulted in a sensitivity of 64% and specificity of 98%. Broad-range real time PCR was generally comparable to culture of CSF and may be a useful supplement, particularly when antimicrobial therapy has been administered. Broad-range real time PCR was more sensitive than broad-range conventional PCR and microscopy.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases. Supplementum
Sider (fra-til)27-35
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2006

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