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J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Nov;31(11):3068-70.

Detection of cholera toxin gene in stool specimens by polymerase chain reaction: comparison with bead enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and culture method for laboratory diagnosis of cholera.

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  • 1National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Beliaghata, Calcutta, India.


Stool specimens obtained from 123 hospitalized patients with acute secretory diarrhea admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Calcutta, India, were examined for isolation of Vibrio cholerae O1 by direct or enrichment plating on selective media for cholera toxin (CT) by bead enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (bead-ELISA) and for the CT gene by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). V. cholerae O1 was isolated either by direct culture or by enrichment culture from 70 stool specimens, all of which gave positive results by PCR. Eleven specimens which were culture negative and bead-ELISA positive also gave positive results by PCR. In addition, 13 more specimens which were negative by both the culture method and bead-ELISA, were positive by PCR. With the combined results of both the culture method and the CT bead-ELISA, a confirmed laboratory diagnosis of cholera could be made from 81 stool specimens, while the combined results of the three methods, including PCR, yielded a positive result for 94 specimens examined. From these data, we conclude that PCR provides a more sensitive and specific assay for rapid diagnosis of cholera than currently available methods.

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