A Novel Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for Serogroup Identification of Neisseria meningitidis in Cerebrospinal Fluid.
ABSTRACT: We have developed a novel Neisseria meningitidis serogroup-specific loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for six of the most common meningococcal serogroups (A, B, C, W, X, and Y). The assay was evaluated using a set of 31 meningococcal LAMP assay positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from 1574 children with suspected meningitis identified in prospective surveillance between 1998 and 2002 in Vietnam, China, and Korea. Primer specificity was validated using 15 N. meningitidis strains (including serogroups A, B, C, E, W, X, Y, and Z) and 19 non-N. meningitidis species. The N. meningitidis serogroup LAMP detected down to ten copies and 100 colony-forming units per reaction. Twenty-nine CSF had N. meningitidis serogroup identified by LAMP compared with two CSF in which N. meningitidis serogroup was identified by culture and multi-locus sequence typing. This is the first report of a serogroup-specific identification assay for N. meningitidis using the LAMP method. Our results suggest that this assay will be a rapid, sensitive, and uniquely serogroup-specific assay with potential for application in clinical laboratories and public health surveillance systems.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) is a leading causative agent of bacterial meningitis in humans. Traditionally, meningococcal meningitis has been diagnosed by bacterial culture. However, isolation of bacteria from patients' cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is time consuming and sometimes yields negative results. Recently, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic methods of detecting Nm have been considered the gold standard because of their superior sensitivity and specificity compared with culture. In this study, we developed a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method and evaluated its ability to detect Nm in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We developed a meningococcal LAMP assay (Nm LAMP) that targets the ctrA gene. The primer specificity was validated using 16 strains of N. meningitidis (serogroup A, B, C, D, 29-E, W-135, X, Y, and Z) and 19 non-N. meningitidis species. Within 60 min, the Nm LAMP detected down to ten copies per reaction with sensitivity 1000-fold more than that of conventional PCR. The LAMP assays were evaluated using a set of 1574 randomly selected CSF specimens from children with suspected meningitis collected between 1998 and 2002 in Vietnam, China, and Korea. The LAMP method was shown to be more sensitive than PCR methods for CSF samples (31 CSF samples were positive by LAMP vs. 25 by PCR). The detection rate of the LAMP method was substantially higher than that of the PCR method. In a comparative analysis of the PCR and LAMP assays, the clinical sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the LAMP assay were 100%, 99.6%, 80.6%, and 100%, respectively.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Compared to PCR, LAMP detected Nm with higher analytical and clinical sensitivity. This sensitive and specific LAMP method offers significant advantages for screening patients on a population basis and for diagnosis in clinical settings.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:In sub Saharan Africa, the epidemiology, including the distribution of serogroups of strains of N. meningitidis is poorly investigated in countries outside "the meningitis belt". This study was conducted with the aim to determine the distribution of serogroups of strains of N. meningitidis causing meningococcal meningitis in children and adults in Mozambique. METHODS:A total of 106 PCR confirmed Neisseria meningitidis Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) samples or isolates were obtained from the biobank of acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) surveillance being implemented by the National Institute of Health, at three central hospitals in Mozambique, from January to December 2014. Serogroups of N. meningitidis were determined using conventional PCR, targeting siaD gene for Neisseria meningitidis. Outer Membrane Proteins (OMP) Genotyping was performed by amplifying porA gene in nine samples. RESULTS:Of the 106 PCR confirmed Neisseria meningitidis samples, the most frequent serotype was A (50.0%, 53/106), followed by W/Y (18.9%, 20/106), C (8.5%, 9/106), X (7.5%, 8/106) and B (0.9%, 1/106). We found non-groupable strains in a total of 15 (14.2%) samples. PorA genotypes from nine strains showed expected patterns with the exception of two serogroup C strains with P1.19,15,36 and P1.19-36,15 and one serogroup X with P1.19,15,36, variants frequently associated to serogroup B. CONCLUSION:Our data shows that the number of cases of meningococcal meningitis routinely reported in central hospitals in Mozambique is significant and the most dominant serogroup is A. In conclusion, although serogroup A has almost been eliminated from the "meningitis belt", this serogroup remains a major concern in countries outside the belt such as Mozambique.
Project description:BACKGROUND:This study presents antigenic and genetic characteristics of Neisseria meningitidis strains recovered from invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in the Czech Republic in 1971-2015. MATERIAL AND METHODS:A total of 1970 isolates from IMD, referred to the National Reference Laboratory for Meningococcal Infections in 1971-2015, were studied. All isolates were identified and characterized by conventional biochemical and serological tests. Most isolates (82.5%) were characterized by multilocus sequence typing method. RESULTS:In the study period 1971-2015, the leading serogroup was B (52.4%), most often assigned to clonal complexes cc32, cc41/44, cc18, and cc269. A significant percentage of strains were of serogroup C (41.4%), with high clonal homogeneity due to hyperinvasive complex cc11, which played an important role in IMD in the Czech Republic in the mid-1990s. Serogroup Y isolates, mostly assigned to cc23, and isolates of clonally homogeneous serogroup W have also been recovered more often over the last years. CONCLUSION:The incidence of IMD and distribution of serogroups and clonal complexes of N. meningitidis in the Czech Republic varied over time, as can be seen from the long-term monitoring, including molecular surveillance data. Data from the conventional and molecular IMD surveillance are helpful in refining the antimeningococcal vaccination strategy in the Czech Republic.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis (meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis) are a major public health concern in the African "meningitis belt," which includes 21 countries from Senegal to Ethiopia. Of the several species that can cause meningitis, N. meningitidis is the most important cause of epidemics in this region. In choosing the appropriate vaccine, accurate N. meningitidis serogroup determination is key. To this end, we developed and evaluated two duplex rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for detecting N. meningitidis polysaccharide (PS) antigens of several important serogroups.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>Mouse monoclonal IgG antibodies against N. meningitidis PS A, W135/Y, Y, and C were used to develop two immunochromatography duplex RDTs, RDT1 (to detect serogroups A and W135/Y) and RDT2 (to detect serogroups C and Y). Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy criteria were used to determine diagnostic accuracy of RDTs on reference strains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples using culture and PCR, respectively, as reference tests. The cutoffs were 10(5) cfu/ml for reference strains and 1 ng/ml for PS. Sensitivities and specificities were 100% for reference strains, and 93.8%-100% for CSF serogroups A, W135, and Y in CSF. For CSF serogroup A, the positive and negative likelihood ratios (+/- 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) were 31.867 (16.1-63.1) and 0.065 (0.04-0.104), respectively, and the diagnostic odds ratio (+/- 95% CI) was 492.9 (207.2-1,172.5). For CSF serogroups W135 and Y, the positive likelihood ratio was 159.6 (51.7-493.3) Both RDTs were equally reliable at 25 degrees C and 45 degrees C.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These RDTs are important new bedside diagnostic tools for surveillance of meningococcus serogroups A and W135, the two serogroups that are responsible for major epidemics in Africa.
Project description:A bivalent factor H binding protein (fHBP) vaccine for the prevention of disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B is currently in clinical development. Since fHBP is also expressed by other meningococcal serogroups, anti-fHBP antibodies may have bactericidal activity against meningococci independent of serogroup. To begin examining the susceptibility of other meningococcal serogroups to anti-fHBP antibodies, meningococcal serogroup C invasive isolates (n = 116) were collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) sites during 2000-2001. These isolates were analyzed for the presence of the fhbp gene. All serogroup C isolates contained the gene, and sequence analysis grouped the proteins into two subfamilies, A and B. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that fHBP was expressed on the surface of ~70% of isolates in vitro with varying levels of expression. fHBP was accessible to antibodies on the cell surface even in the presence of the polysaccharide capsule. Nine isolates from different geographic regions were identified which harboured an identical single nucleotide deletion that could result in a truncated subfamily B fHBP. Analysis by flow cytometry using a polyclonal fHBP antibody preparation revealed that a subpopulation of each of these isolates expressed fHBP. Rabbit and non-human primate immune sera generated with bivalent fHBP vaccine were tested for bactericidal activity against a panel of diverse serogroup C clinical isolates using human complement. Sera from both species demonstrated serum bactericidal antibody activity against the serogroup C isolates tested. These promising findings suggest that a bivalent fHBP vaccine may be capable of providing protection against meningococcal disease caused by both serogroup C and B.
Project description:Invasive meningococcal disease is mainly caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, B, C, X, W, and Y. The serogroup is typically determined by slide agglutination serogrouping (SASG) and real-time PCR (RT-PCR). We describe a whole-genome sequencing (WGS)-based method to characterize the capsule polysaccharide synthesis (cps) locus, classify N. meningitidis serogroups, and identify mechanisms for nongroupability using 453 isolates from a global strain collection. We identified novel genomic organizations within functional cps loci, consisting of insertion sequence (IS) elements in unique positions that did not disrupt the coding sequence. Genetic mutations (partial gene deletion, missing genes, IS insertion, internal stop, and phase-variable off) that led to nongroupability were identified. The results of WGS and SASG were in 91% to 100% agreement for all serogroups, while the results of WGS and RT-PCR showed 99% to 100% agreement. Among isolates determined to be nongroupable by WGS (31 of 453), the results of all three methods agreed 100% for those without a capsule polymerase gene. However, 61% (WGS versus SASG) and 36% (WGS versus RT-PCR) agreements were observed for the isolates, particularly those with phase variations or internal stops in cps loci, which warrant further characterization by additional tests. Our WGS-based serogrouping method provides comprehensive characterization of the N. meningitidis capsule, which is critical for meningococcal surveillance and outbreak investigations.
Project description:The (alpha1-->6)-linked N-acetyl-D-mannosamine-1-phosphate meningococcal capsule of serogroup A Neisseria meningitidis is biochemically distinct from the sialic acid-containing capsules produced by other disease-associated meningococcal serogroups (e.g., B, C, Y, and W-135). We defined the genetic cassette responsible for expression of the serogroup A capsule. The cassette comprised a 4,701-bp nucleotide sequence located between the outer membrane capsule transporter gene, ctrA, and galE, encoding the UDP-glucose-4-epimerase. Four open reading frames (ORFs) not found in the genomes of the other meningococcal serogroups were identified. The first serogroup A ORF was separated from ctrA by a 218-bp intergenic region. Reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR and primer extension studies of serogroup A mRNA showed that all four ORFs were cotranscribed in the opposite orientation to ctrA and that transcription of the ORFs was initiated from the intergenic region by a sigma-70-type promoter that overlapped the ctrA promoter. The first ORF exhibited 58% amino acid identity with the UDP-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) 2-epimerase of Escherichia coli, which is responsible for the conversion of UDP-GlcNAc into UDP-N-acetyl-D-mannosamine. Polar or nonpolar mutagenesis of each of the ORFs resulted in an abrogation of serogroup A capsule production as determined by colony immunoblots and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Replacement of the serogroup A biosynthetic gene cassette with a serogroup B cassette by transformation resulted in capsule switching from a serogroup A capsule to a serogroup B capsule. These data indicate that assembly of the serogroup A capsule likely begins with monomeric UDP-GlcNAc and requires proteins encoded by three other genes found in the serogroup A N. meningitidis-specific operon located between ctrA and galE.
Project description:The incidence of serogroup Y meningococcal disease has increased recently in the United States. Here, we describe the development of a 5' exonuclease assay for the detection of serogroup Y Neisseria meningitidis and demonstrate the usefulness of this assay for resolving serogroup identification of strains that are resistant to conventional serogrouping and for the nonculture identification of serogroup Y meningococcal disease.
Project description:Neisseria meningitidis causes meningococcal disease, often resulting in fulminant meningitis, sepsis, and death. Vaccination programs have been developed to prevent infection of this pathogen, but serogroup replacement is a problem. Capsular switching has been an important survival mechanism for N. meningitidis, allowing the organism to evolve in the present vaccine era. However, related mechanisms have not been completely elucidated. Genetic analysis of capsular switching between diverse serogroups would help further our understanding of this pathogen. In this study, we analyzed the genetic characteristics of the sequence type 7 (ST-7) serogroup X strain that was predicted to arise from ST-7 serogroup A at the genomic level. By comparing the genomic structures and sequences, ST-7 serogroup X was closest to ST-7 serogroup A, whereas eight probable recombination regions, including the capsular gene locus, were identified. This indicated that serogroup X originated from serogroup A by recombination leading to capsular switching. The recombination involved approximately 8,540 bp from the end of the ctrC gene to the middle of the galE gene. There were more recombination regions and strain-specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms in serogroup X than in serogroup A genomes. However, no specific gene was found for each serogroup except those in the capsule gene locus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: To understand epidemiologic patterns of meningococcal disease in Asia, we performed a retrospective molecular analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens collected in prospective surveillance among children aged < 5 years of age in China, South Korea, and Vietnam. METHODS: A total of 295 isolates and 2,302 CSFs were tested by a meningococcal species- and serogroup-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting the Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) ctrA gene. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) was performed in Nm gene amplification analysis and incidence rates for meningococcal meningitis were estimated. RESULTS: Among 295 isolates tested, 10 specimens from Vietnam were confirmed as serogroup B and all were Sequence Type (ST) 1576 by MLST. Among the 2,032 CSF specimen tested, 284 (14%) were confirmed by PCR (ctrA gene), including 67 (23.6%) from China, 92 (32.4%) from Korea, and 125 (44.0%) from Vietnam. Neonates and infants aged < 6 months of age accounted for more than 50% of Nm-PCR positive CSF. Two CSF specimens from Vietnam were identified as serogroup B using MLST. In addition, 44 specimens underwent sequencing to confirm meningococcal serogroup; of these, 21 (48%) were serogroup C, 12 (27%) were serogroup X, 9 (20%) were serogroup Y and 2 (5%) were serogroup B. The incidence rates of meningococcal meningitis among children < 5 years of age was highest in Vietnam (7.4/100,000 [95% CI, 3.6-15.3] followed by Korea (6.8/100,000 [95% CI, 3.5-13.5] and China (2.1/100,000) [95% CI, 0.7-6.2]). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that there is a previously undetected, yet substantial burden of meningococcal meningitis among infants and young children. Standardized, sensitive and specific molecular diagnostic assays with Nm serogrouping capacity are needed throughout Asia to understand the true burden of N. meningitidis disease.