Detection of Clostridium difficile toxin A/B genes by multiplex real-time PCR for the diagnosis of C. difficile infection

Heejung Kim, Seok Hoon Jeong, Myungsook Kim, Yangsoon Lee, Kyungwon Lee

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Toxigenic Clostridium difficile culture is considered to be the standard diagnostic method for the detection of C. difficile infection (CDI). Culture methods are time-consuming and although enzyme immunoassay is rapid and easy to use, it has low sensitivity. In the present study, the AdvanSure CD real-time (RT)-PCR kit (LG Life Sciences) was evaluated for its ability to detect C. difficile toxin A (tcdA) and B (tcdB) genes, simultaneously. A total of 127 fresh diarrhoeal stool specimens, submitted to the clinical microbiology laboratory for C. difficile culture, were tested. C. difficile toxins and toxin genes were detected with a VIDAS C. difficile A&B (VIDAS-CDAB) enzyme-linked fluorescent immunoassay (ELFA) and the AdvanSure RT-PCR kit, respectively, according to the manufacturers' instructions. Their performance was compared with a standard toxigenic culture method as a reference. The sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values using the AdvanSure RT-PCR kit were 100%, 98.3%, 84.6% and 100%, respectively, while those of the VIDAS-CDAB system were 63.6%, 100%, 100% and 96.6%, respectively. Four tcdA +/tcdB + strains of C. difficile were detected with the AdvanSure RT-PCR kit, which offers comparable sensitivity and specificity to the reference method with a turnaround time of ~3 hours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-277
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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