Multiplex polymerase chain reaction to identify and determine the toxigenicity of Corynebacterium spp with zoonotic potential and an overview of human and animal infections
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Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Corynebacterium ulcerans and Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis constitute a group of potentially toxigenic microorganisms that are related to different infectious processes in animal and human hosts. Currently, there is a lack of information on the prevalence of disease caused by these pathogens, which is partially due to a reduction in the frequency of routine laboratory testing. In this study, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) assay that can simultaneously identify and determine the toxigenicity of these corynebacterial species with zoonotic potential was developed. This assay uses five primer pairs targeting the following genes: rpoB (Corynebacterium spp), 16S rRNA (C. ulcerans and C. pseudotuberculosis), pld (C. pseudotuberculosis), dtxR (C. diphtheriae) and tox [diphtheria toxin (DT) ]. In addition to describing this assay, we review the literature regarding the diseases caused by these pathogens. of the 213 coryneform strains tested, the mPCR results for all toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains of C . diphtheriae, C. ulcerans and C. pseudotuberculosis were in 100% agreement with the results of standard biochemical tests and PCR-DT. As an alternative to conventional methods, due to its advantages of specificity and speed, the mPCR assay used in this study may successfully be applied for the diagnosis of human and/or animal diseases caused by potentially toxigenic corynebacterial species.