Author(s): Baddour MM, Alkhalifa DH
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Abstract Brucellosis is a widespread zoonosis. Currently the diagnosis of this zoonosis is based on microbiological and serological laboratory tests. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been used to detect DNA from Brucella. Different target genes, primer pairs, PCR techniques, and extraction procedures have previously been published for Brucella detection. But only a few of these primers have been used in human samples, and only one study has been carried out to compare sensitivity between them. In the present study, 3 sets of primers and 3 different PCR protocols amplifying 3 different regions of the Brucella genome were compared for detection of Brucella DNA in a peripheral-blood PCR assay to conclude which is most suitable for the clinical diagnostic laboratory. These 3 pairs of primers amplify 3 different fragments included in (i) a gene encoding a 31 kDa Brucella abortus antigen (B4/B5), (ii) a sequence 16S rRNA of B. abortus (F4/R2), and (iii) a gene encoding an outer membrane protein (omp-2) (JPF/JPR). Some modifications on the reported techniques were applied during the present work to improve the outcome. The results showed that the B4/B5 primer pair had the highest sensitivity for detection of positive samples (98\%), the JPF/JPR primer pair detected 88.4\% of positive samples, whereas F4/R2 primer pair was the least sensitive, being able to detect only 53.1\% of positive samples. The specificity of the 3 techniques was 100\%. The B4/B5 primer pair was also able to detect the smallest number of bacteria (700 cfu/mL), whereas JPF/JPR was able to detect 7 x 105 cfu/mL and F4/R2 was able to detect 7 x 107 cfu/mL. It is thus concluded that using the B4/B5 primer PCR with the suggested modifications is a robust assay, which meets the sensitivity requirements to be used for testing of human blood samples for brucellosis in the diagnostic laboratory.
This article was published in Can J Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense