[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of brucellosis can be difficult in certain scenarios where conventional microbiological techniques have important limitations. The aim of this study was to develop a LightCycler Quantitative PCR assay in serum samples to discriminate between active and past brucellosis. In total, 110 serum samples from 46 brucellosis patients and 64 controls, including persons who had recently been treated for brucellosis, asymptomatic persons exposed to brucellosis, and patients with febrile syndromes involving a differential diagnosis with brucellosis, were studied. Brucella spp.-specific sequences of the PCR primers and probe were selected from the gene encoding an immunogenic membrane protein of 31 kDa (BCSP31). The analytical sensitivity was 1 x 10(1) fg of Brucella DNA. The mean threshold cycles for brucellosis patients and controls were 31.8 +/- 1.7 and 35.4 +/- 1.1, respectively (p <0.001). The best cut-off for bacterial DNA load was 5 x 10(3) copies/mL. At this cut-off, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves was 0.963 (95% CI 0.920-1.005), with a sensitivity of 93.5% and a specificity of 98.4%. Under the assay conditions, the LightCycler Quantitative PCR in serum samples seems to be highly reproducible, rapid, sensitive and specific. It is therefore a useful method for both the initial diagnosis and the differentiation between past and active brucellosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compared the relative recovery of extraction of bacterial DNA from serum using seven commercial kits (UltraClean DNA BloodSpin Kit, Puregene DNA Purification System, Wizard Genomic DNA Purification Kit, High Pure PCR Template Preparation Kit, GFX Genomic Blood DNA Purification Kit, NucleoSpin Tissue Kit, and QIAamp DNA Blood Mini Kit). Human serum samples were spiked with known concentrations of Brucella melitensis Rev 1; the DNA was extracted and tested in genus-specific LightCycler polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The UltraClean DNA BloodSpin Kit proved to be as sensitive as the QIAamp DNA Blood Mini Kit isolation method and could detect down to 100 fg of DNA, though only the former had no contamination. All the other procedures yielded DNA isolation results that were less sensitive and were always contaminated. Our results show that the UltraClean DNA Blood Spin Kit was the commercially available assay tested that yielded the best sensitivity, purity, and lack of contamination for Brucella DNA isolation from serum.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 03/2008; 27(2):109-14. DOI:10.1007/s10096-007-0409-y · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to develop a LightCycler-based real-time PCR (LC-PCR) assay and to evaluate its diagnostic use for the detection of Brucella DNA in serum samples. Following amplification of a 223-bp gene sequence encoding an immunogenetic membrane protein (BCSP31) specific for the Brucella genus, melting curve and DNA sequencing analysis was performed to verify the specificity of the PCR products. The intra- and inter-assay variation coefficients were 1.3% and 6.4%, respectively, and the detection limit was 5 fg of Brucella DNA (one genome equivalent). After optimisation of the PCR assay conditions, a standard curve was obtained with a linear range (correlation coefficient=0.99) over seven orders of magnitude from 10(7) to 10 fg of Brucella DNA. The LC-PCR assay was found to be 91.9% sensitive and 95.4% specific when tested with 65 negative control samples and 62 serum samples from 60 consecutive patients with active brucellosis. The assay is reproducible, easily standardised, minimises the risk of infection in laboratory workers, and has a total processing time of <2 h. It could therefore form a promising and practical approach for the rapid diagnosis of human brucellosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compared the diagnostic yield of a real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples with conventional microbiological techniques for the diagnosis of neurobrucellosis. Following amplification of a 223 bp sequence specific for Brucella genus, melting curve analysis was performed to verify the specificity of the PCR products.
All six patients with neurobrucellosis (three meningitis and three meningoencephalitis) had a positive real time PCR assay, whereas CSF cultures and Wright seroagglutination tests were positive in only two and four cases, respectively. Brucella specific amplicons were easily demonstrated by their characteristic melting temperature in all the real time PCR assays.
LightCycler based real time PCR assay in CSF samples is more rapid and sensitive than conventional microbiological tests. This technique could be useful for the rapid diagnosis of neurobrucellosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to evaluate the diagnostic yield of a PCR assay for patients with focal complications of brucellosis, we studied
by PCR and by conventional microbiological techniques 34 nonblood samples from 32 patients with different focal forms of brucellosis.
The samples from patients with brucellosis were paired to an equal number of control samples from the same locations of patients
whose illnesses had different etiologies. Thirty-three of the 34 nonblood samples (97%) from the brucellosis patients were
positive by PCR, whereasBrucella spp. were isolated from only 29.4% of the conventional cultures. For 11.4% of the patients, the confirmatory serological
tests were either negative or showed titers below the diagnostic range. Two patients (6.2%) from the control group, both with
tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis, had a positive PCR result. The brucella PCR of blood from these two patients was also
positive, and the two strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosisisolated were analyzed by the brucella PCR, with no evidence of amplification. These results show that the PCR assay is far
more sensitive than conventional cultures, and this, coupled with its speed and reduction in risk to laboratory workers, makes
this technique a very useful tool for the diagnosis of focal complications of brucellosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the specificity of a polymerase chain reaction assay for detecting Brucella DNA using primers specific for the amplification of a 223 bp region of the sequence encoding a 31 kDa immunogenic Brucella abortus protein (BCSP31). DNA from all Brucella strains, including type, reference, vaccine and field strains, were correctly amplified. With the exception of Ochrobactrum spp., no other amplification was detected with a broad panel of microorganisms serologically or phylogenetically related to Brucella spp. This very good degree of specificity, together with its high yield demonstrated in previous clinical studies, confirms that this polymerase chain reaction assay could be a useful tool for the diagnosis of human brucellosis.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 03/2001; 20(2):127-31. DOI:10.1007/s100960000445 · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to evaluate the usefulness of a peripheral blood PCR assay in the posttreatment follow-up of brucellosis, a cohort of 30 patients was studied by means of blood cultures, rose Bengal, seroagglutination, Coombs' antibrucella tests, and PCR assay at the time of diagnosis, at the end of treatment, and 2, 4, and 6 months later. Of the 29 patients whose PCR assays were initially positive, 28 (96.5%) were negative at the conclusion of the treatment. PCR was positive for the two patients who had relapses and negative for another four who had suspected but unconfirmed relapses. PCR was negative for 98.3% of the follow-up samples from those patients who had a favorable evolution. In conclusion, PCR appears to be a very useful technique, not only for the initial diagnosis of the disease, but also for posttreatment follow-up and the early detection of relapses.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 01/2000; 37(12):4163-6. · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied two of the possible factors which can interfere with specific DNA amplification in a peripheral-blood PCR assay used for the diagnosis of human brucellosis. We found that high concentrations of leukocyte DNA and heme compounds inhibit PCR. These inhibitors can be efficiently suppressed by increasing the number of washings to four or five and decreasing the amount of total DNA to 2 to 4 microg, thereby avoiding false-negative results.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 10/1998; 36(9):2443-6. · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single-step PCR assay with genus-specific primers for the amplification of a 223-bp region of the sequence encoding a 31-kDa immunogenetic Brucella abortus protein (BCSP31) was used for the rapid diagnosis of human brucellosis. We examined peripheral blood from 47 patients, with a total of 50 cases of brucellosis, and a group of 60 control subjects, composed of patients with febrile syndromes of several etiologies other than brucellosis, asymptomatic subjects seropositive for Brucella antibodies, and healthy subjects. Diagnosis of brucellosis was established in 35 cases (70%) by isolation of Brucella in blood culture and in the other 15 cases (30%) by clinical and serological means. The sensitivity of our PCR assay was 100%, since it correctly identified all 50 cases of brucellosis, regardless of the duration of the disease, the positivity of the blood culture, or the presence of focal forms. The specificity of the test was 98.3%, and the only false-positive result was for a patient who had had brucellosis 2 months before and possibly had a self-limited relapse. In those patients who relapsed, the results of our PCR assay were positive for both the initial infection and the relapse, becoming negative once the relapse treatment was completed and remaining negative in the follow-up tests at 2, 4, and 6 months. In conclusion, these results suggest that the PCR assay is rapid and easy to perform and highly sensitive and specific, and it may therefore be considered a useful tool for diagnosis of human brucellosis.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 12/1997; 35(11):2927-30. · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Naturally occurring vinca alkaloids, vincristine and vinblastine, at micromolar concentrations enhanced the ornithine decarboxylase activity in a dose-response manner in primary cultures of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells. After 8 h of culture in the presence or absence of vinblastine, cycloheximide was added to the medium, a 4.5-fold increase in the half-life of the ornithine decarboxylase activity was observed in vinblastine-treated cells. This effect is probably due to the inhibition of the intracellular enzyme degradation by the vinca alkaloids.
Cancer Letters 07/1994; 81(2):209-13. DOI:10.1016/0304-3835(94)90204-6 · 5.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we analyzed phagocytic cell function in 51 patients with active brucellosis and its relationship with different clinical, serological, and evolutionary variables. A control group was made up of 30 blood donors of similar geographic extraction, age, and sex, with no previous history of brucellosis or known exposure ot the infection or specific antibodies. The investigations were carried out at the time of diagnosis, at the conclusion of treatment, and after 6 months of follow-up. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte adherence and nitroblue tetrazolium reduction in response to Brucella antigen were significantly increased in the patients at the time of diagnosis with respect to the control group. In contrast, chemotaxis in response to Brucella antigen and phagocytosis were significantly reduced in the patients with respect to the control group. The alterations in phagocytic cell function were greater in patients with bacteremia, with focal forms of the disease, or with a longer diagnostic delay. Most of these initial alterations tended to normalize with treatment, indicating their transient character.
Infection and Immunity 04/1994; 62(3):910-4. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fructose 1,6 bisphosphatase activity was measured in rat serum. The activity of the enzyme presented the following characteristics: pH optimum alkaline, between 8-8.5 and inhibited by AMP. The activity was measured in different experimental situations, such as streptozotocin diabetes, hepatocellular injury produced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), and bile-duct ligation. In diabetic rat, serum activity increased 2-fold with respect to the control values. In animals treated with CCl4 the activity increased 10-14 fold. On the contrary bile duct ligation decreased activity according to the cholestasis time. The results obtained in this study show that fructose 1,6 bisphosphatase is an enzyme measurable in serum, which changes according to different situations of liver cell injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have studied DNA concentrations in various regions of the adult rat brain in prolonged hypothyroidism of different origin. In both normal and hypothyroid rats hypophysis, cerebellum and hypothalamus contained the highest concentrations of DNA. Hypothyroidism produced a slight decrease in DNA content but this effect varied according to the different regions. These variations were due to changes in their maturation period, a critical and specific target for thyroid hormone action after birth.
Archives internationales de physiologie, de biochimie et de biophysique 01/1992; 100(2):171-3. DOI:10.3109/13813459209035282
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The L-thyroxine and L-triiodothyronine concentrations in several brain areas (cerebral cortex, brain stem, hypothalamus, total brain and hypophysis) in normal and hypothyroid rats have been studied. Results show that L-thyroxine values at tissue level are inferior in the hypothyroid group, although non-significant with respect to the control group, whereas L-triiodothyronine presents values similar to the hypothyroid group and its control in all the brain regions studied with the exception of hypophysis. These results show that in hypothyroid situations exist a compensatory mechanism for maintaining the adequate L-triiodothyronine levels in several brain areas, although the serum levels are strongly decreased in hypothyroid animals.
Revista española de fisiología 10/1991; 47(3):141-5.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to evaluate the usefulness of key gluconeogenic enzymes, in relation to the markers commonly used (alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) for the diagnose of cholestasis the serum activity of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase and glucose-6-phosphatase has been measured in rats with bile-duct ligation. Among the gluconeogenic enzymes studied only phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activity increased significantly in the first 48 hours after cholestasis, decreasing thereafter to normal values. Both alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase activities showed a very significant increase which persisted throughout the experiment. These results seem to indicate that in spite of the high organ specificity of these enzymes they do not appear to be useful for the diagnosis of cholestasis.
Revista española de fisiología 10/1990; 46(3):273-8.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serum activity has been measured in three of the key enzymes in the gluconeogenic pathway in rats subjected to experimental hepatotoxicity after intraperitoneal administration of carbon tetrachloride. The levels of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and fructose-1,6-biphosphatase (FBPase) showed a similar behavior to the transaminase (AST and ALT), increasing markedly with respect to the controls at 12 h after administration of the poison, reaching their maximum peak of activity at between 24 and 36 h, and returning to normal values at 96 h. The activity of glucose-6-phosphatase was not significantly modified throughout the treatment. These results seem to demonstrate that the determination of the serum activity of PEPCK and FBPase could be a sensitive and specific marker of hepatic cytolysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this work, fructose bisphosphatase activity in the serum of rats treated by different carbon tetrachloride doses was measured. Fructose bisphosphatase activity increased very significantly with respect to the control animals in all groups assayed. The severe reduction of the activity measured in the presence of adenosine-5'-monophosphate and its stability when measured in the presence of 1-p-bromotetramisole oxalate support its specific origin. These data suggest that serum FBPase activity measurement could be used as a biochemical marker in the diagnosis of hepatocellular injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycolytic activity of five brain areas in the rat was studied under two hypothyroid states: (1) induced by low-iodine diet from weaning, and (2) induced by propylthiouracil. The areas studied were the anterior cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus, septum and hippocampus. A low-iodine diet induced a decrease of pyruvate kinase activity in three region and of phosphofructokinase in the hippocampus, while hexokinase increased in both the amygdala and septum. Propylthiouracil treatment produced an increase in hexokinase activity in the hypothalamus and septum, and a decrease in the anterior cortex, while phosphofructokinase decreased significantly in the hippocampus. No significant changes of lactate dehydrogenase activity were observed. The correlation between the results and type of hypothyroidism is discussed.