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An Med Interna. 1996 May;13(5):235-8.

[Applications of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to the diagnosis of central nervous system infections].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Lluìs Alcanyis, Xativa.


The utility of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is described for the diagnosis in three patients suffering from central nervous system infections, tuberculous meningitis, herpetic encephalitis and cerebral toxoplasmosis. PCR was performed in the cerebrospinal fluid after processing the specimen by two methods, proteinase K digestion and phenol extraction of DNA. Amplification was realized using primers previously described that amplify specific DNA fragments of each microorganisms (insertion sequence IS6110 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, B1 gene of Toxoplasma gondii, and DNA polymerase gene of Herpes simplex virus). In all three cases, PCR was positive after amplification of the specimen extracted with proteinase K, as well as when a complete DNA extraction with phenol was realized. In all cases a band of amplified products was observed in agarose gels. In conclusion, in all three patients described, PCR would had allowed the diagnosis in seven hours, and PCR should be consider a rapid sensitive and relatively simple method.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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