Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2017 Mar 27;12(3):e0173948. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173948. eCollection 2017.

Diagnostic accuracy of two multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction assays for the diagnosis of meningitis in children in a resource-limited setting.

Author information

1
Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
2
National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa.
3
Division of Virology, Department of Pathology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
4
Department of Paediatrics, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Accurate etiological diagnosis of meningitis is important, but difficult in resource-limited settings due to prior administration of antibiotics and lack of viral diagnostics. We aimed to develop and validate 2 real-time multiplex PCR (RT-PCR) assays for the detection of common causes of community-acquired bacterial and viral meningitis in South African children.

METHODS:

We developed 2 multiplex RT- PCRs for detection of S. pneumoniae, N. meningitidis, H. influenzae, enteroviruses, mumps virus and herpes simplex virus. We tested residual CSF samples from children presenting to a local paediatric hospital over a one-year period, whose CSF showed an abnormal cell count. Results were compared with routine diagnostic tests and the final discharge diagnosis. We calculated accuracy of the bacterial RT-PCR assay compared to CSF culture and using World Health Organisation definitions of laboratory-confirmed bacterial meningitis.

RESULTS:

From 292 samples, bacterial DNA was detected in 12 (4.1%) and viral nucleic acids in 94 (32%). Compared to CSF culture, the sensitivity and specificity of the bacterial RT-PCR was 100% and 97.2% with complete agreement in organism identification. None of the cases positive by viral RT-PCR had a bacterial cause confirmed on CSF culture. Only 9/90 (10%) of patients diagnosed clinically as bacterial meningitis or partially treated bacterial meningitis tested positive with the bacterial RT-PCR.

DISCUSSION:

In this population the use of 2 multiplex RT-PCRs targeting 6 common pathogens gave promising results. If introduced into routine diagnostic testing, these multiplex RT-PCR assays would supplement other diagnostic tests, and have the potential to limit unnecessary antibiotic therapy and hospitalisation.

PMID:
28346504
PMCID:
PMC5367690
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0173948
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center