Universal ProbeLibrary based real-time PCR for rapid detection of bacterial pathogens from positive blood culture bottles

Lingxiang Zhu, Ding Xia Shen, Qiming Zhou, Chao Jun Liu, Zexia Li, Xiangdong Fang, Quan Zhen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A set of real-time PCR based assays using the locked nucleic acid probes from Roche Universal ProbeLibrary were developed for rapid detection of eight bacterial species from positive blood culture bottles. Four duplex real-time PCR reactions targeting to one Gram-positive bacterium and one Gram-negative bacterium were optimized for species identification according to Gram stain results. We also included mecA-specific primers and probes in the assays to indicate the presence of methicillin resistance in the bacterial species. The analytical sensitivity was in the range of 1-10 CFU per PCR reaction mixture. The specificity and cross reactivity of the assay was validated by 28 ATCC reference strains and 77 negative blood culture specimens. No cross-reactivity was observed in these samples thus demonstrating 100 % specificity. 72 previously characterized clinical isolates were tested by the real-time PCR assay and validated the accuracy and feasibility of the real-time PCR assay. Furthermore, 55 positive blood culture samples were tested using real-time PCR and 50 (90.9 %) of them were identified as the same species as judged by biochemical analysis. In total, real-time PCR showed 98.2 % consistent to that of traditional methods. Real-time PCR can be used as a supplement for early detection of the frequently-occurred pathogens from the positive blood cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-975
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Bacteria identification
  • Locked nucleic acid (LNA)
  • Real-time PCR
  • Universal ProbeLibrary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Physiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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