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Microbiology. 2003 Jul;149(Pt 7):1719-27.

Rapid identification of Gram-positive anaerobic coccal species originally classified in the genus Peptostreptococcus by multiplex PCR assays using genus- and species-specific primers.

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  • 1Research Service, VA Medical Center West Los Angeles, LA, USA. yulis


Here, a rapid and reliable two-step multiplex PCR assay for identifying 14 Gram-positive anaerobic cocci (GPAC) species originally classified in the genus Peptostreptococcus (Anaerococcus hydrogenalis, Anaerococcus lactolyticus, Anaerococcus octavius, Anaerococcus prevotii, Anaerococcus tetradius, Anaerococcus vaginalis, Finegoldia magna, Micromonas micros, Peptostreptococcus anaerobius, Peptoniphilus asaccharolyticus, Peptoniphilus harei, Peptoniphilus indolicus, Peptoniphilus ivorii and Peptoniphilus lacrimalis) is reported. Fourteen type strains representing 14 GPAC species were first identified to the genus level by multiplex PCR (multiplex PCR-G). Since three of these genera (Finegoldia, Micromonas and Peptostreptococcus) contain only a single species, F. magna, M. micros and P. anaerobius, respectively, these organisms were identified to the species level directly by using the multiplex PCR-G. Then six species of the genus Anaerococcus (A. hydrogenalis, A. lactolyticus, A. octavius, A. prevotii, A. vaginalis and A. tetradius) were further identified to the species level using multiplex PCR assays (multiplex PCR-Ia and multiplex PCR-Ib). Similarly, five species of the genus Peptoniphilus (Pn. asaccharolyticus, Pn. harei, Pn. indolicus, Pn. ivorii and Pn. lacrimalis) were identified to the species level using multiplex PCR-IIa and multiplex PCR-IIb. The established two-step multiplex PCR identification scheme was applied to the identification of 190 clinical isolates of GPAC species that had been identified previously to the species level by 16S rRNA sequencing and phenotypic tests. The identification obtained from multiplex PCR assays showed 100 % agreement with 16S rDNA sequencing identification, but only 65 % (123/190) agreement with the identification obtained by phenotypic tests. The multiplex PCR scheme established in this study is a simple, rapid and reliable method for the identification of GPAC species. It will permit a more accurate assessment of the role of various GPAC species in infection and of the degree of antimicrobial resistance in each of the group members.

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