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Fast, simultaneous, and sensitive detection of staphylococci
  1. R Stuhlmeier,
  2. K M Stuhlmeier
  1. Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rheumatology and Balneology, Kurbadstrasse 10, 1100 Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr K M Stuhlmeier, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rheumatology and Balneology, Kurbadstrasse 10, A-1100 Vienna, Austria;


Aims: Bacterial infections are common and are involved in many forms of disease, ranging from arthritis to food poisoning. Of much concern are nosocomial infections, especially the increasing resistance of bacteria to methicillin. A prerequisite for the successful treatment of bacterial infections is a specific and sensitive method of detecting microorganisms.

Methods: Some methods to detect bacteria are time consuming, whereas others are faster but lack specificity and/or sensitivity. This article describes an optimised polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method that enables the simultaneous detection of different bacteria. A prerequisite for sensitive PCR is a method to isolate and recover extremely small amounts of bacterial DNA. This study used a new method to isolate DNA and compared the results to an established method.

Results: The method could detect fewer than 10 Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin resistant S aureus, Staphylococcus epidermitis, and other bacteria and it took less than two hours to perform.

Conclusion: The rapid DNA isolation method used in conjunction with the optimised PCR makes it possible to confirm the presence or absence of extremely small numbers of bacteria. Using real time PCR would shorten the procedure even further. This method might therefore contribute to more timely and specific interventions.

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus epidermitis
  • multiplex polymerase chain reaction
  • methicillin resistance
  • MRSA, methicillin resistant staphylococci
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • rpm, revolutions/minute
  • SDS, sodium dodecyl sulfate

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  • R Stuhlmeier worked voluntarily at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rheumatology and Balneology.