Non-culture diagnosis and serogroup determination of meningococcal B and C infection by a sialyltransferase (siaD) PCR ELISA

Epidemiol Infect. 1997 Apr;118(2):111-7. doi: 10.1017/s0950268896007261.


Rapid, non-culture, serogroup determination of meningococcal infection is important in contact management where vaccination may be possible. The impending availability of polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines for serogroup C disease requires maximal case ascertainment, with serogroup determination, at a time when the number of culture confirmed meningococcal infections is decreasing. A polymerase chain reaction assay (PCR), based on a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in the meningococcal serogroup B and C sialytransferase (siaD) gene, was developed to combine the non-culture diagnosis of meningococcal infection from CSF, whole blood and serum with serogroup (B and C) identification. The PCR assay was adapted to an ELISA format incorporating hybridization with serogroup-specific B and C oligonucleotide probes. Specificity for CSFs was 100% and sensitivities were respectively 81, 63 and 30% for CSFs, whole blood and sera. The serogroup-specific PCR ELISA is a significant addition to currently available tests for non-culture diagnosis of meningococcal infection and outbreak investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Humans
  • Meningococcal Infections / blood
  • Meningococcal Infections / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neisseria meningitidis / classification*
  • Neisseria meningitidis / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serotyping / methods
  • Sialyltransferases / genetics*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Sialyltransferases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M64289