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Mol Cell Probes. 2005 Aug;19(4):255-60.

Detection and biovar discrimination of Ureaplasma urealyticum by real-time PCR.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongnogu, Seoul 110-744, South Korea.


Prenatal intrauterine infection has been recognized as an important cause of premature birth, and Ureaplasma urealyticum is one of the commonest pathogens. U. urealyticum consists of 14 serovars that can be divided into two biovars (parvo and T960), and the pathogenicity of U. urealyticum may be different according to the biovar. To detect U. urealyticum and determine its biovar simultaneously, we developed a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting urease gene. The real-time PCR biovar-typed two reference strains and 42 culture isolates of U. urealyticum as correctly as conventional PCR with direct sequencing. Subsequently, 87 clinical specimens (amniotic fluid, cord blood, vaginal swab) were tested for culture, conventional PCR, and real-time PCR. When compared with conventional PCR, sensitivity and specificity of real-time PCR were 89.5 and 98.5%, respectively, and those of culture were 47.4 and 100%, respectively. Of 18 clinical specimens that were found positive and biovar-typed by real-time PCR, parvo biovar was 66.7% and T960 biovar was 33.3%. This real-time PCR assay can be useful for the simultaneous detection and biovar discrimination of U. urealyticum in clinical specimens. Further study to quantify U. urealyticum would be facilitated on the basis of this method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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