Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) is a leading cause of invasive infections associated with high mortality and morbidity, notably meningitis and septicemia. Etiological rapid diagnosis is key for the preventive management of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). However, conventional methods for diagnosis are time-consuming and could be hampered by the difficulties in culturing the isolates from clinical specimens especially due to early antibiotic treatment. Therefore, sensitive, specific and rapid non-culture-based methods are valuable for early diagnosis, effective therapy, and prevention. Here we describe a real-time PCR multiplex assays for the detection of Nm targeting the meningococcal-specific gene crgA, coding for a LysR-like transcriptional regulator, and six serogroup-specific (A, B, C, W, X, Y) Nm capsular genes, using a Qiagen column-based method for the optimum isolation of DNA from clinical specimens. Internal quality controls were included to monitor extraction of DNA, inhibition and the technical validation of the PCR as well.
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This work was supported by the Institut Pasteur, Paris.
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