A multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay was developed for the rapid simultaneous detection of category A select bacterial agents (Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis) and parasitic pathogens (Leishmania species) in blood using the Cepheid Smart Cycler platform. B. anthracis (Sterne) and Yersinia. pseudotuberculosis were used in the assay for optimization for B. anthracis and Y. pestis, respectively. The specificity of the target amplicons [protective antigen gene of B. anthracis and rRNA genes of other pathogens or human (internal control)] was evaluated by staining the amplicons with SYBR Green I and determining their individual melting temperatures (Tm). As a novel approach for pathogen semiquantitation, the Tm peak height of the amplicon was correlated with a known standard curve of pathogen-spiked samples. This assay was able to detect DNA in blood spiked with less than 50 target cells/ml for all of the pathogens. The sensitivity of this assay in blood was 100% for the detection of Leishmania donovani from leishmaniasis patients and B. anthracis (Sterne) from symptomatic mice. The time necessary for performing this assay including sample preparation was less than 1.5 hours, making this a potentially useful method for rapidly diagnosing and monitoring the efficacy of drugs or vaccines in infected individuals. Copyright © American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology.
Selvapandiyan, A., Stabler, K., Ansari, N. A., Kerby, S., Riemenschneider, J., Salotra, P., … Nakhasi, H. L. (2005). A novel semiquantitative fluorescence-based multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay for rapid simultaneous detection of bacterial and parasitic pathogens from blood. Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 7(2), 268–275. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1525-1578(10)60554-5