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Optimized broad-range real-time PCR-based method for bacterial screening of platelet concentrates

Bacterial contamination of blood components remains a major challenge in transfusion medicine, particularly, platelet concentrates (PCs) due to the storage conditions that support bacterial proliferation. In this study, we develop a rapid, sensitive and specific real-time PCR protocol for bacterial screening of PCs. An internally controlled real-time PCR-based method was optimized and validated with our proprietary 16S Universal PCR Master Mix (IBMP/Fiocruz), which targets a conserved region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Nonspecific background DNA was completely eliminated by treating the PCR Master Mix with ethidium monoazide (EMA). A lower limit of detection was observed for 10 genome equivalents with an observed Ct value of 34±1.07 in calibration curve generated with 10-fold serial dilutions of E. coli DNA. The turnaround time for processing, including microbial DNA purification, was approximately 4 hours. The developed method showed a high sensitivity with no non-specific amplification and a lower time-to-detection than traditional microbiological methods, demonstrating it to be an efficient means of screening pre-transfusion PCs.

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  • Alexandrino, F.
  • Malgarin, J. S.
  • Krieger, M. A .