Chlamydia pneumoniae: Molecular Biology Methods

  • J. Boman
  • C. A. Gaydos


Chlamydia pneumoniae is an obligate intracellular bacterium which is difficult to diagnose by conventional means. Concerning serology, several problems are involved such as non-standardization of reagents and the technical complexity of the assay. Culture of the organism in tissue culture is the current gold standard to demonstrate that a patient is infected by viable C. pneumoniae, but the use of culture for detection of C. pneumoniae is problematic because of low sensitivity. Since C. pneumoniae can cause severe clinical disease, correct diagnosis and therapy are important. Faster, more sensitive and less laborious methods are therefore required. The ability of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to rapidly amplify small amounts of specific nucleic acid has made this technique an important diagnostic tool with potential to offer clinical laboratories a convenient means to detect C. pneumoniae rapidly and reliably. Although significant improvements have been made in developing molecular methods for the detection of C. pneumoniae, several problems remain. For example, a variety of different PCR-based assays have been developed, and one important issue is comparison of methods and standardization of the protocols. Nevertheless, increased use of automation and the introduction of commercial diagnostic kits will improve standardization and availability. Furthermore, use of new molecular techniques, such as quantitative PCR and sequence analysis, will promote research applications and improve the effectiveness for diagnosis of C. pneumoniae.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Sputum Sample Nucleic Acid Amplification Major Outer Membrane Protein 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Boman
  • C. A. Gaydos

There are no affiliations available

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