Is quantitative PCR for the pneumolysin (ply) gene useful for detection of pneumococcal lower respiratory tract infection?
2009 (English)In: Clinical Microbiology and Infection, ISSN 1198-743X, E-ISSN 1469-0691, Vol. 15, no 6, 565-570 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The pneumolysin (ply) gene is widely used as a target in PCR assays for Streptococcus pneumoniae in respiratory secretions. However, false-positive results with conventional ply-based PCR have been reported. The aim here was to study the performance of a quantitative ply-based PCR for the identification of pneumococcal lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). In a prospective study, fibreoptic bronchoscopy was performed in 156 hospitalized adult patients with LRTI and 31 controls who underwent bronchoscopy because of suspicion of malignancy. Among the LRTI patients and controls, the quantitative ply-based PCR applied to bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was positive at >/=10(3) genome copies/mL in 61% and 71% of the subjects, at >/=10(5) genome copies/mL in 40% and 58% of the subjects, and at >/=10(7) genome copies/mL in 15% and 3.2% of the subjects, respectively. Using BAL fluid culture, blood culture, and/or a urinary antigen test, S. pneumoniae was identified in 19 LRTI patients. As compared with these diagnostic methods used in combination, quantitative ply-based PCR showed sensitivities and specificities of 89% and 43% at a cut-off of 10(3) genome copies/mL, of 84% and 66% at a cut-off of 10(5) genome copies/mL, and of 53% and 90% at a cut-off of 10(7) genome copies/mL, respectively. In conclusion, a high cut-off with the quantitative ply-based PCR was required to reach acceptable specificity. However, as a high cut-off resulted in low sensitivity, quantitative ply-based PCR does not appear to be clinically useful. Quantitative PCR methods for S. pneumoniae using alternative gene targets should be evaluated.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 15, no 6, 565-570 p.
Bronchoalveolar lavage, PCR, pneumolysin, pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-102538DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.02714.xISI: 000268261300011PubMedID: 19416297OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-102538DiVA: diva2:216325