Rapid detection of urinary tract infections caused by Proteus spp. using PNA-FISH

  • C. AlmeidaEmail author
  • N. F. Azevedo
  • J. C. Bento
  • N. Cerca
  • H. Ramos
  • M. J. Vieira
  • C. W. Keevil


We developed a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method for the rapid detection of Proteus spp. in urine, using a novel peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe. Testing on 137 urine samples from patients with urinary tract infections has shown specificity and sensitivity values of 98 % (95 % CI, 93.2–99.7) and 100 % (95 % CI, 80,8–100), respectively, when compared with CHROMagar Orientation medium. Results indicate that PNA-FISH is a reliable alternative to traditional culture methods and can reduce the diagnosis time to approximately 2 h.


Peptide Nucleic Acid Peptide Nucleic Acid Probe Artificial Urine Chromogenic Medium Defibrinated Horse Blood 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Cristina Silva for providing us the urine samples. This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Postdoctoral Fellowship SFRH/BPD/74480/2010 and project PIC/IC/82815/2007) and by the European Commission’s Framework Programme (FP7: “COST-Action TD1004: Theragnostics for imaging and therapy”).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10096_2012_1808_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 12 kb)
10096_2012_1808_Fig3_ESM.jpg (78 kb)
Figure S1

The 16S rRNA Proteus sequences not detected by theProPNA190 probe. Probe (reverse complementary) alignment with P. vulgaris J01874 (accession number: S000414235); P. mirabilis EF371001 (S000806301); P. mirabilis HQ407312 (S002305608); P. mirabilis HQ231796 (S002409155) and Proteus sp. HQ588328 (S002950968); showing the mismatch base pairs (grey squares) in different the different positions

10096_2012_1808_MOESM2_ESM.tif (412 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 412 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Almeida
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  • N. F. Azevedo
    • 3
  • J. C. Bento
    • 1
  • N. Cerca
    • 1
  • H. Ramos
    • 4
  • M. J. Vieira
    • 1
  • C. W. Keevil
    • 2
  1. 1.IBB—Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Biological EngineeringUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Environmental Healthcare Unit, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.LEPAE, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Serviço de Microbiologia, Centro Hospitalar do PortoHospital Geral de Santo AntónioPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Centro de Engenharia BiólogicaUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal

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