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A 10-year retrospective comparison of two target sequences, REP-529 and B1, for Toxoplasma gondii detection by quantitative PCR

Abstract : This study aimed to evaluate the repeated sequence REP-529 compared to that of the B1 gene in the molecular diagnosis of toxoplasmosis by quantitative PCR (qPCR) in routine diagnosis. Over a 10-year period (2003 to 2013), all patients prospectively diagnosed with a positive REP-529 qPCR result for toxoplasmosis were included. All DNA samples (76 samples from 56 patients) were simultaneously tested using the two qPCR methods (REP-529 and B1). The mean cycle threshold (CT) obtained with the B1 qPCR was significantly higher (+4.71 cycles) than that obtained with REP-529 qPCR (P<0.0001). Thirty-one out of 69 extracts (45.6%) positive with REP-529 qPCR were not amplified with the B1 qPCR (relative sensitivity of 54.4% compared to that with REP-529), yielding false-negative results with 15/28 placenta, 5 cord blood, 2 amniotic fluid, 4 cerebrospinal fluid, 1 aqueous humor, 2 lymph node puncture, and 1 abortion product sample. This defect in sensitivity would have left 20/56 patients undiagnosed, distributed as follows: 12/40 congenital toxoplasmosis, 4/5 cerebral toxoplasmosis, 2/8 patients with retinochoroiditis, and 2 patients with chronic lymphadenopathy. This poor performance of B1 qPCR might be related to low parasite loads, since the mean Toxoplasma quantification in extracts with B1 false-negative results was 0.4 parasite/reaction. These results clearly show the superiority of the REP-529 sequence in the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis by PCR and suggest that this target should be adopted as part of the standardization of the PCR assay.
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Sorya Belaz, Jean-Pierre Gangneux, Peggy Dupretz, Claude Guiguen, Florence Robert-Gangneux. A 10-year retrospective comparison of two target sequences, REP-529 and B1, for Toxoplasma gondii detection by quantitative PCR. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 2015, 53 (4), pp.1294-1300. ⟨10.1128/JCM.02900-14⟩. ⟨hal-01118293⟩

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