Send to

Choose Destination
Scand J Infect Dis. 2006;38(1):27-35.

Broad-range real time PCR and DNA sequencing for the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis.

Author information

Department of Infectious Diseases, Research Unit Q, Skejby Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.


Rapid aetiological diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is crucial for the early targeting of antimicrobial and adjuvant therapy. Broad-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the 16S rRNA gene allows aetiological diagnosis of bacterial meningitis when applied to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We assessed the additional diagnostic effect of applying a novel broad-range real time PCR and subsequent DNA sequencing to culture, microscopy, and broad-range conventional PCR on CSF in patients with suspected bacterial meningitis. Broad-range conventional PCR and broad-range real time PCR with subsequent DNA sequencing were applied to 206 CSF specimens collected consecutively from 203 patients aged 6 d to 86 y. Patients' charts were reviewed for clinical information. 17 pathogens were identified by PCR and DNA sequencing or culture. Three specimens were negative by culture but positive by broad-range real time PCR. Three specimens were positive by culture but negative by broad-range real time PCR. Compared with culture, the sensitivity of broad-range real time PCR was 86%, and the specificity 98%. Conventional PCR resulted in a sensitivity of 64% and specificity of 98%. Broad-range real time PCR was generally comparable to culture of CSF and may be a useful supplement, particularly when antimicrobial therapy has been administered. Broad-range real time PCR was more sensitive than broad-range conventional PCR and microscopy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center