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CRISPR is an optimal target for the design of specific PCR assays for salmonella enterica serotypes Typhi and Paratyphi A

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Serotype-specific PCR assays targeting Salmonella enterica serotypes Typhi and Paratyphi A, the causal agents of typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, are required to accelerate formal diagnosis and to overcome the lack of typing sera and, in some situations, the need for culture. However, the sensitivity and specificity of such assays must be demonstrated on large collections of strains representative of the targeted serotypes and all other bacterial populations producing similar clinical symptoms. METHODOLOGY: Using a new family of repeated DNA sequences, CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), as a serotype-specific target, we developed a conventional multiplex PCR assay for the detection and differentiation of serotypes Typhi and Paratyphi A from cultured isolates. We also developed EvaGreen-based real-time singleplex PCR assays with the same two sets of primers. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We achieved 100% sensitivity and specificity for each protocol after validation of the assays on 188 serotype Typhi and 74 serotype Paratyphi A strains from diverse genetic groups, geographic origins and time periods and on 70 strains of bacteria frequently encountered in bloodstream infections, including 29 other Salmonella serotypes and 42 strains from 38 other bacterial species. CONCLUSIONS: The performance and convenience of our serotype-specific PCR assays should facilitate the rapid and accurate identification of these two major serotypes in a large range of clinical and public health laboratories with access to PCR technology. These assays were developed for use with DNA from cultured isolates, but with modifications to the assay, the CRISPR targets could be used in the development of assays for use with clinical and other samples.
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Laetitia Fabre, Simon Le Hello, Chrystelle Roux, Sylvie Issenhuth-Jeanjean, François-Xavier Weill. CRISPR is an optimal target for the design of specific PCR assays for salmonella enterica serotypes Typhi and Paratyphi A. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2014, 8 (1), pp.e2671. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0002671⟩. ⟨pasteur-01104945⟩

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