Chapter 48 : Molecular Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Infections

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Enteric infections cause significant morbidity and mortality and have a significant financial cost worldwide. This chapter discusses the molecular techniques for the clinical identification of the bacteria, viruses, and parasites most commonly responsible for infections of the lower gastrointestinal tract. Numerous studies have reported on the development of PCR assays for the detection of enteric pathogens. Overall, multiplex, real-time PCR assay is favored because of its speed and elimination of postamplification carryover. The chapter summarizes the advancements achieved for the detection of enteric bacterial pathogens by molecular methods and discusses the remaining challenges. It also discusses the special case of hospital-acquired infection and the role of molecular methods in its diagnosis. Except for , which causes disease only in some patients, , , and are intrinsic enteric pathogens in humans. Importantly, the sequence of the viral capsid protein encoded by open reading frame 2 (ORF2) correlates directly with the serotype, making RT-PCR the most common technique for astrovirus detection and typing. The major pathogenic intestinal coccidia include , , , and , with spp. being the most common. The microsporidia are composed of more than 1,000 species of small, spore-forming, obligate intracellular organisms originally classified as protozoa but now considered fungi.

Citation: Pinsky B, Banaei N. 2011. Molecular Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Infections, p 729-750. In Persing D, Tenover F, Tang Y, Nolte F, Hayden R, van Belkum A (ed), Molecular Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816834.ch48
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