A polymerase chain reaction-enzyme immunoassay for diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis in children & adults

A. J.P. John, M. K. Lalitha, T. Cherian, R. Pai, K. Thomas, M. C. Steinhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background & objectives: Meningitis due to Streptococcus pneumoniae is common among children and adults. In this study a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis was evaluated prospectively. Methods: A total of 61 cerebrospinal fluid specimens were included prospectively using defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. These samples were studied by PCR-EIA and results compared with conventional microbiological procedures and antigen detection techniques. Primers were used against the conserved region of the pneumococcal autolysin gene and the amplified product was labelled using the digoxigenin-labelled dUTP. The product was detected by an enzyme immuno assay (EIA) after hybridization with a biotin labelled probe. Results: A total of 15 specimens were positive for S. pneumoniae by one or more methods used. Culture for S. pneumoniae was positive in 13 specimens, PCR-EIA was positive in 11 of these specimens with an additional pickup of 2 specimens which were PCR-EIA positive for S. pneumoniae when culture was negative for both specimens and latex agglutination (LA) positive only in one. Interpretation & conclusions: Sensitivity and specificity of 84.6 and 95.8 per cent respectively were observed with PCR-EIA. It seems to be a good tool for the diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis especially in cases of partially treated pyogenic meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Issue numberFEB.
StatePublished - Jun 19 2001


  • Meningitis
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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