Comparison of polymerase chain reaction assay with culture for detection of genital mycoplasmas in perinatal infections

  • N. Luki
  • P. Lebel
  • M. Boucher
  • B. Doray
  • J. Turgeon
  • R. Brousseau


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was compared with culture for the detection ofUreaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, andMycoplasma genitalium in clinical samples (vaginal secretions, throat and endotracheal secretions, and skin swabs) obtained from 47 high-risk pregnant women peripartum and eight newborn infants. Detection using PCR with homologous primers was highly specific, as a product with the expected length was consistently amplified with homologous but not with heterologous species. The limit of detection of the PCR assay was 10 color-changing units (CCU) ofMycoplasma strains. The PCR technique facilitated detection ofUreaplasma urealyticum DNA in 31 of 55 patients studied, ofMycoplasma hominis in seven samples, and ofMycoplasma genitalium in two samples. Four PCR-positive patients yielded culture-negative results. In one case a culture-positive sample was negative by PCR. The results show that PCR is a valuable tool for rapid detection of genital mycoplasmas in clinical samples. It is fast, sensitive, specific, and easy to perform, requiring minimal preparation of the clinical sample.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Clinical Sample Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay Newborn Infant Polymerase Chain Reaction Technique 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Luki
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Lebel
    • 2
  • M. Boucher
    • 3
  • B. Doray
    • 4
  • J. Turgeon
    • 5
  • R. Brousseau
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Genetics GroupBiotechnology Research InstituteMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologySainte-Justine HospitalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologySainte-Justine HospitalMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of NeonatologySainte-Justine HospitalMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsSainte-Justine HospitalMontrealCanada

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