Table 5.13Diagnostic accuracy of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) versus culture in studies with a clinical gold standarda

StudyTest detailsSamplesReference standardPCR sensitivityPCR specificityBlood/CSF culture sensitivityBlood culture specificity
Bryant, 2004 68ctrA Taqman PCRBloodConsensus clinical diagnosis88%
n=24 cases
100%58%100%
Hackett, 2002 69ctrA WB-Taqman PCRWhole bloodClinical diagnosis in the absence of other positive microbiology88%
n=98 cases
100%33%100%
Carrol, 2000 70ctrA and IS1106 S-Taqman and PCR-ELISASerum/plasmaClinical diagnosis in the absence of other positive microbiology47%
n=166 cases
100%31%100%
Van Gastel, 2007 71Duplex Taqman PCR targeting Neisseria meningitidis ctrA and Streptococcus pneumoniae plyCSFClinical features of meningitis plus positive CSF Gram stain, positive CSF or blood culture, or postive PCRMeningococcal meningitisn=23 cases
87%96%17%100%
Pneumococcal meningitisn=14 cases
100%100%36%100%
a

ctrA: N. meningitidis capsular transfer; CSF: cerebrospinal fluid

From: 5, Diagnosis in secondary care

Cover of Bacterial Meningitis and Meningococcal Septicaemia
Bacterial Meningitis and Meningococcal Septicaemia: Management of Bacterial Meningitis and Meningococcal Septicaemia in Children and Young People Younger than 16 Years in Primary and Secondary Care.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 102.
National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (UK).
London: RCOG Press; 2010.
Copyright © 2010, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

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