Evaluation of opa-Based Real-Time PCR for Detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae

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Objectives:Detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae by commercial and in-house–based assays has been hampered by false-positive and false-negative results. The current study describes a sensitive and specific real-time 5′-nuclease PCR assay targeting a 90-bp region of the multicopy opa gene.Goal:To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of this assay in detection of gonococcus.Study:Sensitivity and specificity were determined by testing a panel of 173 microorganisms. In addition, 135 clinical samples previously evaluated by 4 nucleic acid amplification methods were also tested.Results:A sensitivity of 1 copy per reaction was achieved. Positive results were only obtained for N gonorrhoeae strains including 20 cppB-negative strains. Overall, 134 of 135 clinical sample results agreed with the consensus nucleic amplification methods.Conclusion:This study demonstrates opa-based target can be used as an accurate and rapid PCR assay for the detection of N gonorrhoeae in clinical specimens.

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