Development and performance of a multiplex PCR assay for the detection of bacteria in sterile body fluids

Coreen Johnson, Christopher Marquez, Damon Olson, Tabitha Ward, Stephen Cheney, Tina Hulten, Trang Ton, C. R. Webb, James Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To assess the performance characteristics of a lab-developed multiplex PCR assay for the detection of common bacterial pathogens associated with infections in pediatric patients from normally sterile sites, such as cerebrospinal fluid, synovial and pleural fluids. Materials methods: A total of 272 specimens were tested by PCR and traditional culture methods to assess the presence of Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Kingella kingae. Results: Compared with culture, the overall positive and negative percentage agreement of the PCR were 95.9% and 74.1%, respectively. Conclusion: This sterile body fluid PCR affords a rapid and sensitive alternative for bacterial detection, allowing for more timely pathogen-directed antimicrobial therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Kingella kingae
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • multiplex PCR
  • osteoarticular infection
  • pleural fluid
  • synovial fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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