1887

Abstract

Microsporidia are obligate intracellular parasites that infect eukaryotic cells and have emerged as major opportunistic human pathogens. Due to the difficulties in definitive laboratory diagnosis and insufficient knowledge, ocular microsporidiosis is infrequently reported in India. To improve diagnostic facilities, we have developed a novel duplex PCR (dPCR) for the simultaneous identification of both genera and species of isolates with microsporidian aetiology that cause keratitis. The material scraped from the corneas of 12 clinically diagnosed microsporidial keratitis patients was subjected to routine microbiological examinations and molecular diagnosis using a novel dPCR that targeted the small-subunit rRNA gene (SSU-rRNA) of microsporidia and using genus- and species-specific primers. Of the 12 corneal scrapes, 6 showed positive results in smears, while dPCR provided positive amplification with both pan-microsporidial and species-specific primers for 9 corneal scrapes. The results were validated by sequencing and analysis. The sensitivity of this novel dPCR method was higher than that of conventional microscopy in the diagnosis of corneal microsporidial infection. dPCR with specific primers is potentially more sensitive, specific and depends less on more complicated methods for exact identification of the aetiology of microsporidial keratitis.

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2013-04-01
2019-12-05
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