The diagnosis of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection is usually based on serologic and/or bacteriologic tests. However, successfully culturing Y. pseudotuberculosis is difficult, and serologic tests in many cases require at least two serial sera obtained during 1-week intervals to confirm rising agglutination antibody titers.
We applied a nested polymerase chain reaction method for rapid diagnosis of Y. pseudotuberculosis infection. The DNAs extracted from the peripheral blood and urine of patients and from mountain water, a suspected source of infection, were used as templates for the polymerase chain reaction with consequent amplification of a fragment of the inv gene in the chromosomal DNA of Y. pseudotuberculosis.
The overall rate of diagnosis with the polymerase chain reaction, which was based on a positive result with a single blood sample or one or more positive results with serial samples, was 93.3%. The polymerase chain reaction was also positive in two mountain water samples that were thought to be a source of infection.
Based on our results the nested polymerase chain reaction method can be used clinically for rapid and precise diagnosis of Y. pseudotuberculosis infection.
From the Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Children's Hospital (HIC, ISH, HJL, YC), Seoul City Boramae Hospital (HWP), Sanggye Paik Hospital (JWK), Samsung Medical Center (DKJ), Hanil Hospital (MSP), and Department of Clinical Pathology, Seoul National University Children's Hospital (ECK), Seoul, Korea.
Accepted for publication April 3, 1996.
Address for reprints: Hae II Cheong, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Children's Hospital, 28 YonGon-Dong, ChongRo-Gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea. Fax 82-2-743-3455.