Send to

Choose Destination
Transfusion. 2001 Nov;41(11):1356-64.

Multiplex PCR for detection of Enterobacteriaceae in blood.

Author information

Division of Emerging and Transfusion Transmitted Diseases, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Maryland, USA.



Rapid and sensitive methods are needed to detect the small numbers of bacteria that may sometimes contaminate units of blood during collection. A multiplex 5'-nuclease TaqMan PCR assay (PE Applied Biosystems) was used to detect several bacterial species that may contaminate blood.


Oligonucleotide primers were made for regions of the 16S rRNA gene conserved in four different bacterial species: Yersinia enterocolitica and Serratia, Klebsiella, and Enterobacter species. Two probes were designed: SL-1 detected Serratia, Klebsiella, and Enterobacter species, and YE-3 detected Y. enterocolitica.


When TaqMan PCR was performed with chromosomal DNA isolated from pure cultures of Serratia liquefaciens, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, and Enterobacter agglomerans, the limit of detection with probe SL-1 was 1 to 2 CFUs. For S. marcescens, the sensitivity was 8 CFUs. The limit of detection for Y. enterocolitica with probe YE-3 was 2 CFUs. When total chromosomal DNA was extracted from whole-blood samples spiked with different numbers of Y. enterocolitica, S. liquefaciens, E. cloacae, or K. pneumoniae bacteria, the TaqMan PCR detected 12 to 16 organisms in 1 mL of blood.


The 5'-nuclease TaqMan PCR assay takes only 3 hours to perform and has the potential to detect very small numbers of bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center