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Issue 4, 2005
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Evaluation of interference to conventional and real-time PCR for detection and quantification of fungi in dust

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Abstract

Advances in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have permitted accurate, rapid and quantitative identification of microorganisms in pure cultures regardless of viability or culturability. In this study, a simple sample processing method was investigated for rapid identification and quantification of fungal spores from dust samples using both conventional and real-time PCR. The proposed method was evaluated for susceptibility to interference from environmental dust samples. Stachybotrys chartarum and Aspergillus fumigatus were used as test organisms. The sensitivity of detection in pure culture was 0.1 spore DNA equivalents per PCR reaction corresponding to 20 spores ml−1 in the sample. However, 1 spore DNA equivalent per PCR reaction corresponding to 200 spores ml−1 in the sample was the lowest amount of spores tested without interference in dust samples spiked with spores of either fungal species. The extent of inhibition was calculated using conventional and real-time PCR reactions containing fungal spores, specific primers, specific probes (for real-time PCR) and various amounts of dust. The results indicate that the extent of inhibition by dust on PCR varies with the type and amount of dust, and number of spores. No interference in the analysis of spiked samples was detected from 0.2 mg ml−1 of four real-life dust samples at p-value >0.05 using 2 × 104 spores for conventional PCR and 2 × 105 spores for real-time PCR. However, samples containing >0.2 mg ml−1 real-life dust compromised the PCR assay. These results suggest the potential usefulness of a simple sample processing method in conjunction with PCR for monitoring the fungal content of aerosols collected from indoor environments.

Graphical abstract: Evaluation of interference to conventional and real-time PCR for detection and quantification of fungi in dust

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Oct 2004, accepted on 03 Feb 2005 and first published on 23 Feb 2005


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B415498C
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2005,7, 311-318
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    Evaluation of interference to conventional and real-time PCR for detection and quantification of fungi in dust

    J. Keswani, M. L. Kashon and B. T. Chen, J. Environ. Monit., 2005, 7, 311
    DOI: 10.1039/B415498C

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