[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis is a leading pathogen of epidemic bacterial meningitis and fulminant sepsis worldwide. Twelve different N. meningitidis serogroups have been identified to date based on antigenic differences in the capsular polysaccharide. However, more than 90% of human cases of N. meningitidis meningitis are the result of infection with just five serogroups, A, B, C, W135, and Y. Efficient methods of detection and genogrouping of N. meningitidis isolates are needed, therefore, in order to monitor prevalent serogroups as a means of disease control and prevention. The capsular gene complex regions have been sequenced from only seven out of the 12 serogroups. In this study, the capsular gene complexes of the remaining five serogroups were sequenced and analyzed. Primers were designed that were specific for N. meningitidis species and for the 12 individual serogroups, and a multiplex PCR assay using these specific primers was developed for N. meningitidis detection and genogrouping. The assay was tested using 15 reference strains covering all 12 serogroups, 143 clinical isolates, and 21 strains from closely related species or from species that cause meningitis. The assay could detect N. meningitidis serogroups and was shown to be specific, with a detection sensitivity of 1 ng of genomic DNA (equivalent to ∼4 × 10(5) genomes) or 3 × 10(5) CFU/ml in noncultured mock cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens. This study, therefore, describes for the first time the development of a molecular protocol for the detection of all N. meningitidis serogroups. This multiplex PCR-based assay may have use for the clinical diagnosis and epidemiological surveillance of N. meningitidis.
Journal of clinical microbiology 11/2011; 50(1):46-51. · 4.16 Impact Factor