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J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Jun;47(6):1888-91. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00506-09. Epub 2009 Apr 22.

Cost-effective frozen master mix modification of a commercial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus PCR assay.

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Wheaton Franciscan Laboratory, 11020 West Plank Court, Suite 100, Wauwatosa, WI 53226, USA.


The expense inherent to molecular diagnostics may be an overriding concern for a variety of clinical laboratories in the development of PCR-based methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) active surveillance programs. BD GeneOhm MRSA assay master mix was reconstituted, aliquoted into SmartCycler tubes in 25-microl volumes, and frozen at -70 degrees C. One hundred percent of archival nasal swab lysates yielded the expected PCR results when incubated in master mix frozen for 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks. A 98.8% concordance of the final result was observed upon prospective PCR analysis of 320 clinical lysates utilizing freshly reconstituted master mix and 2-week-frozen master mix. Initial unresolved rates generated by frozen master mix and freshly reconstituted master mix differed by 1.6% (P = 0.16). Of 50 MRSA-positive lysates, the titers of 32 (64%) were determined to the same value upon initial tandem frozen master mix and freshly reconstituted master mix utilization; the titers of an additional 14 were determined to the same value upon repeat testing. Frozen master mix maintains potency for at least 4 weeks, facilitating detection of MRSA from nasal swab lysates, and may decrease the amount of unused reagent up to an average of 33%.

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