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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4197187, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4197187
Research Article

Identification of Common Bacterial Pathogens Causing Meningitis in Culture-Negative Cerebrospinal Fluid Samples Using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt

Received 12 May 2016; Revised 18 June 2016; Accepted 4 July 2016

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Comi

Copyright © 2016 Walaa Shawky Khater and Safia Hamed Elabd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Meningitis is a serious communicable disease with high morbidity and mortality rates. It is an endemic disease in Egypt caused mainly by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae. In some settings, bacterial meningitis is documented depending mainly on positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture results or CSF positive latex agglutination test, missing the important role of prior antimicrobial intake which can yield negative culture and latex agglutination test results. This study aimed to utilize molecular technology in order to diagnose bacterial meningitis in culture-negative CSF samples. Materials and Methods. Forty culture-negative CSF samples from suspected cases of bacterial meningitis were examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) for the presence of lytA, bexA, and ctrA genes specific for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis, respectively. Results. Positive real-time PCR results for Streptococcus pneumoniae were detected in 36 (90%) of culture-negative CSF samples while no positive results for Haemophilus influenzae or Neisseria meningitidis were detected. Four (10%) samples were negative by real-time PCR for all tested organisms. Conclusion. The use of molecular techniques as real-time PCR can provide a valuable addition to the proportion of diagnosed cases of bacterial meningitis especially in settings with high rates of culture-negative results.