Chlamydia pneumoniae is an important cause of respiratory disease in humans, but diagnosis of C. pneumoniae is hindered by difficulties in the in vitro growth of the organism. In order to improve detection and identification, we recently developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay which uses oligonucleotide primers specific for C. pneumoniae. The nucleic acid sequence was determined for the 16S rRNA of C. pneumoniae, and regions in which C. pneumoniae differed from both Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia trachomatis were identified. Oligonucleotide primers corresponding to these unique regions were then synthesized and used in a PCR for the detection of C. pneumoniae. The C. pneumoniae-specific primers permitted the identification of six isolates of C. pneumoniae, but no reaction was observed with the 15 serovars of C. trachomatis or two strains of C. psittaci. PCR should prove to be valuable in confirming the identification of C. pneumoniae and in the diagnosis of C. pneumoniae infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)