1887

Abstract

, the aetiological agent of the plague, causes sporadic disease in endemic areas of the world and is classified as a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogen because of its potential to be used as a bioweapon. Health departments, hospitals and government agencies need the ability to rapidly identify and characterize cultured isolates of this bacterium. Assays have been developed to perform this function; however, they are limited in their ability to distinguish from . This report describes the creation of a real-time PCR assay using Taqman probes that exclusively identifies using a unique target sequence of the gene on the chromosome. As with other PCR assays, three major genes located on each of the three virulence plasmids were included: on pCD1, on pMT1 and on pPCP1. The quadruplex assay was validated on a collection of 192 isolates and 52 near-neighbour isolates. It was discovered that only 72 % of natural plague isolates from the states of New Mexico and Utah harboured all three virulence plasmids. This quadruplex assay proved to be 100 % successful in differentiating from all near neighbours tested and was able to reveal which of the three virulence plasmids a particular isolate possessed.

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2008-03-01
2019-10-18
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