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Polymerase Chain Reaction–Based Assays for the Diagnosis of Active and Relapsed Cases of Human Brucellosis

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  • 1 Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
  • | 2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran.

Abstract

This study aimed to compare polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with serum agglutination test (SAT) in the diagnosis of patients before and 6 months after treatment. Peripheral blood specimens from 50 patients with brucellosis (case group) and 30 subjects without brucellosis (control group) were selected and entered into the study. The diagnosis of brucellosis was established using SAT ≥ 1:160 and 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME) ≥ 1:80 with clinical signs and symptoms compatible with brucellosis. For each case, both before treatment and 6 months after completion of therapy, SAT, 2-ME, and PCR were performed. Subjects in the control group were assessed by the same tests at the initial visit. In the case group, 50 patients (36 males, 14 females) with the mean age of 43.6 ± 14.5 years were evaluated. The mean age of the control group was 40.6 ± 14 years. Among the 50 patients whose nested PCR assays were initially positive, 43 (86%) were negative 6 months after completing treatment. Relapse occurred in five (10%) patients within 6 months after treatment and all were PCR positive. None of the patients in the control group was PCR positive. Results show that PCR seems to be highly sensitive and specific, and therefore is a useful method for both the initial diagnosis and detection of relapse or chronic brucellosis.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Zahra Moulana, Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, 4718767474 Iran. E-mail: zmoulana@yahoo.com

Financial support: This project was fully sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Research Center, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran, with project number 1978.

Authors' addresses: Mohammad Reza Hasanjani Roushan and Zahra Moulana, Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran, E-mails: hagar2q@gmail.com and zmoulana@yahoo.com. Seyed Mahmoud Amin Marashi, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran, E-mail: parsmicrob@gmail.com.

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