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Evaluation of a commercially available reverse transcription-PCR assay for diagnosis of enteroviral infection in archival and prospectively collected cerebrospinal fluid specimens



Evaluation of a commercially available reverse transcription-PCR assay for diagnosis of enteroviral infection in archival and prospectively collected cerebrospinal fluid specimens



Journal of Clinical Microbiology 36(6): 1741-1745



A commercially available reverse transcription (RT)-PCR method (AMPLICOR EV; Roche Diagnostic Systems, Inc., Branchburg, N.J.) was evaluated for detection of enteroviruses in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with neurological disease. This assay was compared with virus isolation in cell culture and an in-house RT-PCR method designed with a nonoverlapping region of the enteroviral genome. A panel of 200 cerebrospinal fluid specimens prospectively collected from patients with a wide variety of neurological symptoms, including 50 patients involved in three different outbreaks of acute aseptic meningitis, was assayed. A second panel of 97 archived cerebrospinal fluid specimens, stored for 2 to 5 years, from patients with aseptic meningitis associated with several enterovirus outbreaks was also studied. From the first panel, enteroviruses were detected in 13 of 50 specimens by cell culture (26%), in 43 of 50 specimens by AMPLICOR EV (86%), and in 46 of 50 specimens by the in-house assay (92%) from patients with aseptic meningitis associated with outbreak and 1 of 29, 3 of 29, and 4 of 29 specimens, respectively, from sporadic cases of aseptic meningitis. The remaining 121 cerebrospinal fluid specimens from patients with other neurological syndromes were negative by all tests. From the second panel, enteroviral RNA was detected by the AMPLICOR test (31 of 97 specimens, 32%) and the in-house assay (39 of 97 specimens, 40%). According to our results, patients with aseptic meningitis should be analyzed for enteroviral infection in cerebrospinal fluid by RT-PCR methods, and the AMPLICOR EV test is a suitable tool for performing such studies. Archival cerebrospinal fluid specimens are less suitable for evaluation of the performance of RT-PCR methods designed for enterovirus detection.

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Accession: 008631491

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PMID: 9620411


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