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Volume 39, Number 6, December 2006

Real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for detection of Streptococcus pneumoniae in sputum samples from patients with community-acquired pneumonia

Aysen Bayram, Esra Kocoglu, Iclal Balci, Ayten Filiz, Fahriye Eksi
Departments of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology and Pulmonary Diseases, Gaziantep University Medical Faculty, Gaziantep, Turkey

Received: November 1, 2005    Revised: February 20, 2006    Accepted: March 9, 2006   


Corresponding author:

Dr. Aysen Bayram, Gaziantep University Medical Faculty, Department of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Universite Bulvari, Gaziantep 27310, Turkey. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method targeting the pneumolysin gene of Streptococcus pneumoniae in sputum specimens from patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) was evaluated for the identification of pneumococci.



The applicability of the assay to clinical samples was evaluated by studying 140 sputum specimens from patients with CAP. Of the specimens, 96 (68.6%) were found to be positive by real-time PCR. The results were compared to culture findings.




The sensitivity and specificity of the real-time PCR assay developed in this study as compared to those of the culture method were 97.2% and 60.9%, respectively.




Real-time PCR assay was found to be a rapid and sensitive method for the detection of pneumococci.



Key words:

Pneumonia, polymerase chain reaction, sensitivity and specificity, sputum, Streptococcus pneumoniae



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2006;39:452-457.