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Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:746053. doi: 10.1155/2013/746053. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Prescription surveillance and polymerase chain reaction testing to identify pathogens during outbreaks of infection.

Author information

  • 1Sugiura Clinic, 2-8-3 Imaichi-Kita, Honmachi, Shimane, Izumo 693-0002, Japan. tomomarie@smn.enjoy.ne.jp

Abstract

Syndromic surveillance, including prescription surveillance, offers a rapid method for the early detection of agents of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases. However, it has the disadvantage of not considering definitive diagnoses. Here, we attempted to definitively diagnose pathogens using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) immediately after the prescription surveillance system detected an outbreak. Specimens were collected from 50 patients with respiratory infections. PCR was used to identify the pathogens, which included 14 types of common respiratory viruses and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Infectious agents including M. pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, enterovirus, and parainfluenza virus were detected in 54% of patients. For the rapid RSV diagnosis kit, sensitivity was 80% and specificity was 85%. For the rapid adenovirus diagnosis kit, no positive results were obtained; therefore, sensitivity could not be calculated and specificity was 100%. Many patients were found to be treated for upper respiratory tract infections without the diagnosis of a specific pathogen. In Japan, an outbreak of M. pneumoniae infection began in 2011, and our results suggested that this outbreak may have included false-positive cases. By combining syndromic surveillance and PCR, we were able to rapidly and accurately identify causative pathogens during a recent respiratory infection outbreak.

PMID:
23509772
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3581269
Free PMC Article
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