Nested PCR for rapid detection of mumps virus in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with neurological diseases

Gustavo Palacios Poggio, Claudia Rodriguez, Daniel Cisterna, María Cecilia Freire, Jerónimo Cello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we have developed a reverse transcription (RT)-nested polymerase chain reaction (n-PCR) for the detection of mumps virus RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with neurological infections. A specific 112-bp fragment was amplified by this method with primers from the nucleoprotein of the mumps virus genome. The mumps virus RT-n-PCR was capable of detecting 0.001 PFU/ml and 0.005 50% tissue culture infective dose/ml. This method was found to be specific, since no PCR product was detected in each of the CSF samples from patients with proven non-mumps virus-related meningitis or encephalitis. Mumps virus RNA was detected in all 18 CSF samples confirmed by culture to be infected with mumps virus. Positive PCR results were obtained for the CSF of 26 of 28 patients that were positive for signs of mumps virus infection (i.e., cultivable virus from urine or oropharyngeal samples or positivity for anti-mumps virus immunoglobulin M) but without cultivable virus in their CSF. Overall, mumps virus RNA was detected in CSF of 96% of the patients with a clinical diagnosis of viral central nervous system (CNS) disease and confirmed mumps virus infection, while mumps virus was isolated in CSF of only 39% of the patients. Furthermore, in a retrospective study, we were able to detect mumps virus RNA in 25 of 55 (46%) CSF samples from patients with a clinical diagnosis of viral CNS disease and negative laboratory evidence of viral infection including mumps virus infection. The 25 patients represent 12% of the 236 patients who had a clinical diagnosis of viral CNS infections and whose CSF was examined at our laboratory for a 2-year period. The findings confirm the importance of mumps virus as a causative agent of CNS infections in countries with low vaccine coverage rates. In summary, our study demonstrates the usefulness of the mumps virus RT-n-PCR for the diagnosis of mumps virus CNS disease and suggests that this assay may soon become the 'gold standard' test for the diagnosis of mumps virus CNS infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-278
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume38
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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