Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Mar;49(3):918-24. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01733-10. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Detection and differentiation of Cryptosporidium spp. in human clinical samples by use of real-time PCR.

Author information

  • 1UK Cryptosporidium Reference Unit, Public Health Wales Microbiology, Swansea SA2 8QA, United Kingdom.


Real-time PCR has the potential to streamline detection and identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in human clinical samples. In the present article, we report the first such assay to allow not only detection and differentiation of the most common human pathogens, Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum, but also simultaneous amplification of a region of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene, permitting direct sequence analysis to identify any Cryptosporidium species. An internal control is incorporated to identify the presence of PCR inhibitors. Analytical sensitivity was determined to be as low as 200 oocysts per gram of feces processed, equivalent to 2 oocysts per PCR. The C. hominis and C. parvum PCRs specifically detected only species/genotypes in their respective target clades. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, evaluated against a widely used conventional nested SSU rRNA gene PCR as a nominated gold standard using a panel of 258 (151 positive and 107 negative) samples, were 100% and 99.1%, respectively. The assay agreed with PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein gene for 134 of 136 (98.5%) samples tested prospectively and typed two additional isolates. The real-time PCR assay was sensitive, specific, and reproducible and significantly improved laboratory work flow and turnaround times.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk