Date: 02 Sep 2009

Development of a real-time PCR for the specific detection of Waddlia chondrophila in clinical samples

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Waddlia chondrophila is considered as an emerging human pathogen likely involved in miscarriage and lower respiratory tract infections. Given the low sensitivity of cell culture to recover such an obligate intracellular bacteria, molecular-based diagnostic approaches are warranted. We thus developed a real-time PCR that amplifies Waddlia chondrophila DNA. Specific primers and probe were selected to target the 16S rRNA gene. The PCR specifically amplified W. chondrophila but did not amplify other related-bacteria such as Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, Simkania negevensis and Chlamydia pneumoniae. The PCR exhibited a good intra-run and inter-run reproducibility and a sensitivity of less than ten copies of the positive control. This real-time PCR was then applied to 32 nasopharyngeal aspirates taken from children with bronchiolitis not due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Three samples revealed to be Waddlia positive, suggesting a possible role of this Chlamydia-related bacteria in this setting.