Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a Gram negative oral bacterium associated with localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP). Detection of A. actinomycetemcomitans in clinical samples is routinely done by PCR. Our aim was to develop a rapid and reliable PCR method that can be used as a chair-side tool to detect A. actinomycetemcomitans in clinical samples. Sensitivity and specificity assessment was performed on buccal and plaque samples obtained from 40 adolescents enrolled in an ongoing LAP study by comparing 20 A. actinomycetemcomitans-positive subjects and 20 who were negative. In a second study, A. actinomycetemcomitans presence was tested in oral samples from eighty-six primates that included rhesus monkeys, chimpanzees, marmosets, tamarins and baboons. All samples were processed for detection of A. actinomycetemcomitans by means of culture, conventional PCR (cPCR) and rapid PCR (rPCR) using a Super Convection based AmpXpress thermal cycler (AlphaHelix, Sweden). For human samples, culture, cPCR and rPCR showed perfect agreement. Using this method A. actinomycetemcomitans was detected in 27 of 32 rhesus monkeys, 4 of 8 chimpanzees and 1 of 34 marmosets. Rapidity of AmpXpress thermal cycler, combined with Ready-To-Go PCR beads (GE Life sciences), a quick DNA extraction kit (Epicentre Biotechnologies, Madison, Wisconsin, USA) and a bufferless fast agarose gel system, made it possible to obtain results on A. actinomycetemcomitans detection within 35 min. We conclude that AmpXpress fast PCR can be conveniently used as a chair-side tool for rapid detection of A. actinomycetemcomitans in clinical samples.
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