Development and validation of a multiplex PCR for detection of Scedosporium spp. in respiratory tract specimens from patients with cystic fibrosis

Azian Harun, Christopher C Blyth, Felix Gilgado, Peter Middleton, Sharon C-A Chen, Wieland Meyer
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2011, 49 (4): 1508-12
The emergence of Scedosporium infections in diverse groups of individuals, which are often treatment refractory, warrants timely and accurate laboratory diagnosis. Species- or group-specific primers based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence polymorphisms were designed for Scedosporium aurantiacum, Scedosporium dehoogii, Scedosporium prolificans, Pseudallescheria boydii species complex (former clade 5)/Pseudallescheria apiosperma (formerly classified as S. apiospermum sensu lato) and Pseudallescheria minutispora. Primers for S. aurantiacum, S. prolificans, and P. boydii species complex/P. apiosperma were incorporated into a multiplex PCR assay for the detection and identification of the three major clinically important Scedosporium species and validated using sputum specimens collected from patients seen at a major Australian cystic fibrosis clinic. The multiplex PCR assay showed 100% specificity in identifying the three major clinically relevant Scedosporium species from pure culture. When evaluated using DNA extracts from sputa, sensitivity and specificity of the multiplex PCR assay were 62.1% and 97.2%, respectively. This highly species-specific multiplex PCR assay offers a rapid and simple method of detection of the most clinically important Scedosporium species in respiratory tract specimens.

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