Ureaplasma sp. infection in neonates and adults underlies a variety of disease pathologies. Of the two human Ureaplasma spp., Ureaplasma parvum is clinically the most common. We have developed a high-resolution melt (HRM) PCR assay for the differentiation of the four serovars of U. parvum in a single step. Currently U. parvum strains are separated into four serovars by sequencing the promoter and coding region of the multiple-banded antigen (MBA) gene. We designed primers to conserved sequences within this region for PCR amplification and HRM analysis to generate reproducible and distinct melt profiles that distinguish clonal representatives of serovars 1, 3, 6, and 14. Furthermore, our HRM PCR assay could classify DNA extracted from 74 known (MBA-sequenced) test strains with 100% accuracy. Importantly, HRM PCR was also able to identify U. parvum serovars directly from 16 clinical swabs. HRM PCR performed with DNA consisting of mixtures of combined known serovars yielded profiles that were easily distinguished from those for single-serovar controls. These profiles mirrored clinical samples that contained mixed serovars. Unfortunately, melt curve analysis software is not yet robust enough to identify the composition of mixed serovar samples, only that more than one serovar is present. HRM PCR provides a single-step, rapid, cost-effective means to differentiate the four serovars of U. parvum that did not amplify any of the known 10 serovars of Ureaplasma urealyticum tested in parallel. Choice of reaction reagents was found to be crucial to allow sufficient sensitivity to differentiate U. parvum serovars directly from clinical swabs rather than requiring cell enrichment using microbial culture techniques. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Payne, M. S., Tabone, T., Kemp, M. W., Keelan, J. A., Spiller, O. B., & Newnham, J. P. (2014). High-resolution melt PCR analysis for genotyping of Ureaplasma parvum isolates directly from clinical samples. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 52(2), 599-606. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.03036-13, https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.03036-13