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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 381-388

Standardization of a two-step real-time polymerase chain reaction based method for species-specific detection of medically important Aspergillus species

1 Department of Microbiology, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Clinical Hematology, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Microbiology, WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research of Fungi of Medical Importance, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
S Bhattacharya
Department of Microbiology, Tata Medical Center, 14 Major Arterial Road (EW), New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata - 700 156, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_17_190

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Purpose: Standardization of Aspergillus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) poses two technical challenges (a) standardization of DNA extraction, (b) optimization of PCR against various medically important Aspergillus species. Many cases of aspergillosis go undiagnosed because of relative insensitivity of conventional diagnostic methods such as microscopy, culture or antigen detection. The present study is an attempt to standardize real-time PCR assay for rapid sensitive and specific detection of Aspergillus DNA in EDTA whole blood. Materials and Methods: Three nucleic acid extraction protocols were compared and a two-step real-time PCR assay was developed and validated following the recommendations of the European Aspergillus PCR Initiative in our setup. In the first PCR step (pan-Aspergillus PCR), the target was 28S rDNA gene, whereas in the second step, species specific PCR the targets were beta-tubulin (for Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus), gene and calmodulin gene (for Aspergillus niger). Results: Species specific identification of four medically important Aspergillus species, namely, A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger and A. terreus were achieved by this PCR. Specificity of the PCR was tested against 34 different DNA source including bacteria, virus, yeast, other Aspergillus sp., other fungal species and for human DNA and had no false-positive reactions. The analytical sensitivity of the PCR was found to be 102 CFU/ml. Conclusion: The present protocol of two-step real-time PCR assays for genus- and species-specific identification for commonly isolated species in whole blood for diagnosis of invasive Aspergillus infections offers a rapid, sensitive and specific assay option and requires clinical validation at multiple centers.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

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