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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Diagnosis and differentiation of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Mycoplasma hyorhinis infections in pigs by PCR amplification of the p36 and p46 genes.

The genome of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae encodes several immunodominant proteins, including a cytosolic protein (p36), three membranous proteins (p46, p65, and p74), and an adhesin (p97). Cross-reactions with M. flocculare and M. hyorhinis reduce the specificity of conventional serological detection methods. However, certain antigenic determinants of the p36 and p46 proteins have been shown to be specific for M. hyopneumoniae. In the present study, pairs of oligonucleotide primers were designed to permit PCR amplification of entire p36 and p46 genes and of internal fragments of these genes. Specific amplicons could be obtained with as low as 0.5 to 50 pg of extracted chromosomal DNA. No amplification product was obtained when testing p36 and p46 primer pairs with genomic DNA or RNA from other mycoplasma species, bacteria, and viruses commonly associated with respiratory diseases in pigs. By using the single p36-PCR method, a positive reaction was demonstrated in 100% (30 of 30) of lungs from pigs that developed typical lesions associated with an M. hyopneumoniae infection, and no false-positive results were detected when 62 apparently normal lungs were tested. On the other hand, with the single p46-PCR method a sensitivity of 86.6% (26 of 30) and a specificity of 96.7% (60 of 62) were obtained in comparison with the necropsy findings. A mixed infection with M. hyorhinis was diagnosed in 13.3% (4 of 30) of the cases by using species-specific primers for the heterologous p37 gene. The sensitivity of the single p36-PCR method for the detection of M. hyopneumoniae, when tested on tracheobronchial swabs, was 100% (20 positive samples), with a specificity of 93.3% (14 of 15 negative samples), compared to the necropsy findings. Both expected amplicons were obtained with 86.6% (26 of 30) positive lungs when p36 and p46 primers were used simultaneously (multiplex PCR) to further increase the specificity of the PCR assay.[1]


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