Rapid and combined detection ofMycoplasma pneumoniae, Epstein-Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus using AllGlo quadruplex quantitative PCR

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Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) cause substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. The causes of ARI are dynamic, and co-infections of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Epstein-Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus are recently developed causes of ARI. Here, we established a quadruplex quantitative PCR (qPCR) method to rapidly identify and simultaneously detect a single infection or co-infection of these three pathogens and an internal control in a single tube using AllGlo probes. The analysis demonstrated a wide linear range of detection from 101 to 108 copies per test and a low coefficient of variation of less than 5 %. The amplification efficiencies were all close to 1, and the correlation coefficients (r2) were all greater than 0.99. We found no significant difference in a comparative reagent test (P >0.05). Moreover, the results of tests on clinical samples using AllGlo quadruplex qPCR and TaqMan uniplex qPCR were in near-perfect agreement (κ =0.97). Clinically, the availability of this method will enable better differential diagnosis, disease surveillance and controlled outcomes.

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