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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2002 Nov;9(6):1332-7.

Comparative study of the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae in cerebrospinal fluid of Patients with clinically definite and monosymptomatic multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology. Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


There is considerable controversy concerning the evidence for the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of both multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and patients with other neurological diseases (OND). In order to clarify this issue, the laboratories at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the University of South Florida (USF) examined the reproducibility of their respective PCR assays for the detection of C. pneumoniae DNA in the CSF of a common group of MS patients and OND controls. The two laboratories used different DNA extraction and PCR techniques in order to determine the prevalence of the C. pneumoniae genome in both monosymptomatic and clinically definite MS patients as well as in OND controls. In clinically definite MS patients, the VUMC and USF detection rates were 72 and 61%, respectively, and in patients with monosymptomatic MS, the VUMC and USF detection rates were 41 and 54%, respectively. The PCR signal was positive for 7% of the OND controls at VUMC and for 16% at USF. These studies confirm our previous reports concerning the high prevalence of C. pneumoniae in the CSF of MS patients. The presence of C. pneumoniae in patients with monosymptomatic MS would also suggest that infection with the organism occurs early in the course of the disease.

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