Current advancement of the Pcr-based molecular diagnosis for tuberculous meningitis

Takahashi, T.; Tamura, M.; Takasu, T.; Kamei, S.

Rinsho Shinkeigaku 53(11): 1187-1190


ISSN/ISBN: 0009-918X
DOI: 10.5692/clinicalneurol.53.1187
Accession: 068511214

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Central nervous system (CNS) tuberculosis, particularly tuberculous meningitis (TBM), is one of the severest forms of tuberculosis. At present, the diagnosis of CNS tuberculosis remains a complex issue because the most widely used conventional "gold standard" based on bacteriological detection methods, such as direct smear and culture identification, cannot rapidly detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.Tb) bacilli in CSF specimens with sufficient sensitivity in the acute phase of TBM. Recently, instead of the conventional "gold standard", the various molecular-based methods, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, has emerged as a promising new method for the diagnosis of TBM. Moreover, nested PCR assay has been reported as a key method that drastically increases the sensitivity and specificity of DNA amplification compared with conventional single-step PCR. Currently, a novel assay technique, which is internally controlled and combines the high sensitivity of nested PCR with the accurate quantification of real-time PCR, namely, Wide Range Quantitative Nested Real-time PCR (WR-QNRT-PCR) assay, has been developed. This novel assay technique is useful for the rapid diagnosis and the assessment of anti-tuberculosis treatment during clinical course of TBM. Therefore, in actual clinical practice, its wider use for diagnosis of TBM is expected in the future.