Streptococcus agalactiae is the leading cause of early-onset neonatal sepsis. Culture-based screening methods lack the sensitivity of molecular assays and do not indicate serotype; a potentially important virulence marker. We aimed to develop a multiplex PCR to detect S. agalactiae while simultaneously identifying serotypes Ia, Ib, and III; commonly associated with infant disease. Primers were designed to target S. agalactiae serotype-specific cps genes and the dltS gene. The assay was validated with 512 vaginal specimens from pregnant women. 112 (21.9%) were dltS positive, with 14.3%, 0.9%, and 6.3% of these identified as cps Ia, Ib, and III, respectively. Our assay is a specific and sensitive method to simultaneously detect S. agalactiae and serotypes Ia, Ib, and III in a single step. It is of high significance for clinical diagnostic applications and also provides epidemiological data on serotype, information that may be important for vaccine development and other targeted non-antibiotic therapies.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2017|