Detection of Toxoplasma DNA in the Peripheral Blood of HIV-Positive Patients with Neuro-opportunistic Infections by a Real-Time PCR Assay
We determine if peripheral blood sample could be used for diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis by a real-time PCR assay and we analyzed the clinical and laboratory findings in 22 patients with confirmed cerebral toxoplasmosis compared to 27 patients with other neuroopportunistic infections. We compared two gene targets (B1 and RE) in the Taqman-PCR real-time assay. Efficiency values were also calculated. We found that 18.8% (4/22) of cases with cerebral toxoplasmosis and 7.4% (2/27) of patients with other neuroinfections had positive results with the Taqman PCR assay. The mean number of parasites was 67.7 (SD 69.0) tachyzoites/mL in patients with cerebral toxoplasmosis and of 31.8 (SD 6.3) tachyzoites/mL in other neuroinfections. Clinical symptoms as headache were significantly less frequent and focal neurological symptoms were significantly more frequent in cerebral toxoplasmosis than in other neuroinfections. In our conditions, realtime PCR on peripheral blood samples was not useful for diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis.