Development and evaluation of a new PCR assay for detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa D genotype

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This report describes a new PCR-based assay for the detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa genotype D in occupational saturation diving systems in the North Sea. This genotype has persisted in these systems for 11 years (1993–2003) and represents 18% of isolates from infections analysed during this period. The new PCR assay was based on sequences obtained after randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR analysis of a group of isolates related to diving that had been identified previously by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The primer set for the D genotype targets a gene that codes for a hypothetical class 4 protein in the P. aeruginosa PAO1 genome. A primer set able to detect P. aeruginosa at the species level was also designed, based on the 23S-5S rDNA spacer region. The two assays produced 382-bp and 192-bp amplicons, respectively. The PCR assay was evaluated by analysing 100 P. aeruginosa isolates related to diving, representing 28 PFGE genotypes, and 38 clinical and community P. aeruginosa isolates and strains from other species. The assay identified all of the genotype D isolates tested. Two additional diving-relevant genotypes (TP2 and TP27) were also identified, as well as three isolates of non-diving origin. It was concluded that the new PCR assay is a useful tool for early detection and prevention of infections with the D genotype.

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