Validation of a diagnostic multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay for infectious posterior uveitis

Humeyra Dabil, Michelle L. Boley, Therese M. Schmitz, Russell N. Van Gelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective: To valide a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay capable of simultaneously screening vitreous biopsy specimens for a panel of common pathogens in posterior uveitis. Methods: A multiplex PCR assay using novel primer sets for cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella zoster virus (VZV), and Toxoplasma gondii was developed. The sensitivity of the assay was determined for purified pathogen DNA. Twenty-one vitreous specimens from patients with posterior uveitis were tested by both multiplex and monoplex PCR. Results: Fewer than 10 genomes of VZV and fewer than 100 genomes of HSV, CMV, and T gondii could be detected using the new primer sets. When used in multiplex, the assay lost less than 1 log of sensitivity. Monoplex PCR detected pathogen DNA in 18 of 21 patient samples; multiplex PCR detected pathogen DNA in 15 of the 18 samples positive by monoplex PCR. None of 10 negative control samples were positive for pathogen DNA. Conclusions: Multiplex PCR has adequate sensitivity to simultaneously screen a substantial differential diagnosis for posterior uveitis in a single reaction, without loss of specificity. This assay may reduce the time and cost involved in PCR-based molecular diagnostics of infectious pathogens. Clinical Relevance: Multiplex PCR may allow rapid diagnosis of infectious posterior uveitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1322
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001


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