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      Evolution of bacterial meningitis diagnosis in São Paulo State-Brazil and future challenges.

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          Bacterial meningitis (BM) is a severe disease and still represents a serious public health problem with high rates of morbidity and mortality. The most common cases of BM around the world, mainly in Brazil, have been caused by Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. Bacterial culture is the gold-standard technique for BM confirmation, but approximately 50% of suspected cases are not culture-confirmed, due to problems related to improper transportation and seeding or previous antibiotic treatment. Immunological methods present low sensitivity and have possibility of cross-reactions. Real time PCR (qPCR) is a molecular technique and has been successful used for BM diagnosis at Instituto Adolfo Lutz in São Paulo State, Brazil, since 2007. The incorporation of qPCR in the Public Health surveillance routine in our state resulted in diminishing 50% of undetermined BM cases. Our efforts are focused on qPCR implementation in the BM diagnostic routine throughout Brazil.

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          Detection of bacterial pathogens in Mongolia meningitis surveillance with a new real-time PCR assay to detect Haemophilus influenzae.

          Since the implementation of Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) serotype b vaccine, other serotypes and non-typeable strains have taken on greater importance as a cause of Hi diseases. A rapid and accurate method is needed to detect all Hi regardless of the encapsulation status. We developed 2 real-time PCR (rt-PCR) assays to detect specific regions of the protein D gene (hpd). Both hpd assays are very specific and sensitive for detection of Hi. Of the 63 non-Hi isolates representing 21 bacterial species, none was detected by the hpd #1 assay, and only one of 2 H. aphrophilus isolates was detected by the hpd #3 assay. The hpd #1 and #3 assays detected 97% (229/237) and 99% (234/237) of Hi isolates, respectively, and were superior for detection of both typeable and non-typeable Hi isolates, as compared to previously developed rt-PCR targeting ompP2 or bexA. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of these rt-PCR assays were assessed on cerebrospinal fluid specimens collected as part of meningitis surveillance in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The etiology (Neisseria meningitidis, Hi, and Streptococcus pneumoniae) of 111 suspected meningitis cases was determined by conventional methods (culture and latex agglutination), previously developed rt-PCR assays, and the new hpd assays. The rt-PCR assays were more sensitive for detection of meningitis pathogens than other classical methods and improved detection from 50% (56/111) to 75% (83/111). The hpd #3 assay identified a non-b Hi that was missed by the bexA assay and other methods. A sensitive rt-PCR assay to detect both typeable and non-typeable Hi is a useful tool for improving Hi disease surveillance especially after Hib vaccine introduction. Published by Elsevier GmbH.
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            Clinical validation of multiplex real-time PCR assays for detection of bacterial meningitis pathogens.

            Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae are important causes of meningitis and other infections, and rapid, sensitive, and specific laboratory assays are critical for effective public health interventions. Singleplex real-time PCR assays have been developed to detect N. meningitidis ctrA, H. influenzae hpd, and S. pneumoniae lytA and serogroup-specific genes in the cap locus for N. meningitidis serogroups A, B, C, W135, X, and Y. However, the assay sensitivity for serogroups B, W135, and Y is low. We aimed to improve assay sensitivity and develop multiplex assays to reduce time and cost. New singleplex real-time PCR assays for serogroup B synD, W135 synG, and Y synF showed 100% specificity for detecting N. meningitidis species, with high sensitivity (serogroup B synD, 99% [75/76]; W135 synG, 97% [38/39]; and Y synF, 100% [66/66]). The lower limits of detection (LLD) were 9, 43, and 10 copies/reaction for serogroup B synD, W135 synG, and Y synF assays, respectively, a significant improvement compared to results for the previous singleplex assays. We developed three multiplex real-time PCR assays for detection of (i) N. meningitidis ctrA, H. influenzae hpd, and S. pneumoniae lytA (NHS assay); (ii) N. meningitidis serogroups A, W135, and X (AWX assay); and (iii) N. meningitidis serogroups B, C, and Y (BCY assay). Each multiplex assay was 100% specific for detecting its target organisms or serogroups, and the LLD was similar to that for the singleplex assay. Pairwise comparison of real-time PCR between multiplex and singleplex assays showed that cycle threshold values of the multiplex assay were similar to those for the singleplex assay. There were no substantial differences in sensitivity and specificity between these multiplex and singleplex real-time PCR assays.
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              Use of real-time PCR to resolve slide agglutination discrepancies in serogroup identification of Neisseria meningitidis.

              Neisseria meningitidis is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis and septicemia in children and young adults in the United States. Rapid and reliable identification of N. meningitidis serogroups is crucial for judicious and expedient response to cases of meningococcal disease, including decisions about vaccination campaigns. From 1997 to 2002, 1,298 N. meningitidis isolates, collected in the United States through the Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs), were tested by slide agglutination serogrouping (SASG) at both the ABCs sites and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For over 95% of isolates, SASG results were concordant, while discrepant results were reported for 58 isolates. To resolve these discrepancies, we repeated the SASG in a blinded fashion and employed ctrA and six serogroup-specific PCR assays (SGS-PCR) to determine the genetic capsule type. Seventy-eight percent of discrepancies were resolved, since results of the SGS-PCR and SASG blinded study agreed with each other and confirmed the SASG result at either state health laboratories or CDC. This study demonstrated the ability of SGS-PCR to efficiently resolve SASG discrepancies and identified the main cause of the discrepancies as overreporting of these isolates as nongroupable. It also reemphasized the importance of adherence to quality assurance procedures when performing SASG and prompted prospective monitoring for SASG discrepancies involving isolates collected through ABCs in the United States.

                Author and article information

                Arq Neuropsiquiatr
                Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria
                FapUNIFESP (SciELO)
                Sep 2013
                : 71
                : 9B


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