PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is Superior to Culture and Serology in Detecting Haemophilus Infection in Rats and Guinea Pigs

  • R Boot Section of Laboratory Animal Microbiology Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment
  • F A G Reubsaet Section of Bacterial Diagnostics, Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment

Abstract

Based on partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V-factor dependent Pasteurellaceae (Haemophilus),  strains from rat and guinea pig were assigned to the Rodent cluster or the Haemophilus parainfluenzae  complex. 

PCRs for the detection of biotype Heyl or Jawetz [P.] pneumotropica detected none of the strains and only  two Haemophilus strains assigned to the Rodent cluster respectively. All Haemophilus strains were positive  by a PCR developed for detection of all Pasteurellaceae taxa. 

The Pasteurellaceae PCR detected infection in all 76 rats and 40 guinea pigs from 3 and 6 colonies respectively  reported to be free from Pasteurellaceae infection.  ELISAs, using two Haemophilus antigens and culture, detected infection with similar frequency but both  methods were inferior to PCR. 

The Pasteurellaceae PCR should be the new ‘gold standard’ for comparison of the sensitivity of other test  methods for Pasteurellaceae infection in rodents.  

Section
Articles