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Added diagnostic value of broad‐range 16S PCR on periprosthetic tissue and clinical specimens from other normally sterile body sites

Reuwer, A.Q., van den Bijllaardt, W., Murk, J.L., Buiting, A.G.M., Verweij, J.J.
Journal of applied microbiology 2019 v.126 no.2 pp. 661-666
animal tissues, disease diagnosis, microbial detection, microorganisms, pathogens, patients, polymerase chain reaction, prostheses
AIMS: Evaluation of 16S PCR in addition to the standard culture to improve the pathogen detection rate in clinical specimens. METHODS AND RESULTS: Microbiological culture and direct 16S PCR was performed on specimens from suspected prosthetic joint infection patients (cohort‐1) and on tissues and fluids from other normally sterile body sites (cohort‐2). Based on clinical and microbiological data, the detection rate for both methods was assessed, assuming no superiority of either 16S PCR or culture. In cohort‐1, 469 specimens were obtained. Culture was positive in 170 (36·2%) specimens, 16S PCR detected 70 (41·2%) of those pathogens. Additionally, 16S PCR detected pathogens in 13 of 299 (4·3%) culture‐negative specimens. In cohort‐2, pathogens were cultured in 52 of 430 (12·1%) specimens and 16S PCR revealed those pathogens in 32 (61·5%) specimens. 16S PCR detected pathogens in 31 of 378 (8·2%) culture‐negative specimens. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the yield with 16S PCR was low. For cohort‐1 16S PCR detected pathogens in 4·3% of culture‐negative specimens, where this was 8·2% for cohort‐2. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Although direct 16S PCR cannot replace culture, it may offer a valuable additional diagnostic option for detection of difficult to culture micro‐organisms in culture‐negative clinical specimens.