Author(s): Mygind T, Birkelund S, Birkebaek NH, stergaard L, Jensen JS, , Mygind T, Birkelund S, Birkebaek NH, stergaard L, Jensen JS,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Chlamydia pneumoniae infection has been detected by serological methods, but PCR is gaining more interest. A number of different PCR assays have been developed and some are used in combination with serology for diagnosis. Real-time PCR could be an attractive new PCR method; therefore it must be evaluated and compared to conventional PCR methods. RESULTS: We compared the performance of a newly developed real-time PCR with a conventional PCR method for detection of C. pneumoniae. The PCR methods were tested on reference samples containing C. pneumoniae DNA and on 136 nasopharyngeal samples from patients with chronic cough. We found the same detection limit for the two methods and clinical performance was equal for the real-time PCR and for the conventional PCR method, although only three samples tested positive. To investigate whether the low prevalence of C. pneumoniae among patients with chronic cough was caused by suboptimal PCR efficiency in the samples, PCR efficiency was determined based on the real-time PCR. Seventeen of twenty randomly selected clinical samples had similar PCR efficiency to samples containing pure genomic C. pneumoniae DNA. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the performance of real-time PCR is comparable to that of conventional PCR, but this needs to be confirmed further. Real-time PCR can be used to investigate the PCR efficiency which gives a rough estimate of how well the real-time PCR assay work in a specific sample type. Suboptimal PCR efficiency of PCR is not a likely explanation for the low positivity rate of C. pneumoniae in patients with chronic cough.
This article was published in BMC Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research