Identification of the Causative Microorganism of Suspected Bacterial Meningitis by Exhaustive Analysis of the 16S rRNA Sequence – Achievements from a research experiment course by a 3rd year medical student –
Techniques based on nucleic acid amplification sometimes serve as complementary measures when bacterial culture alone cannot determine the cause of a suspected infection. Hereby presented is such a case of suspected bacterial meningitis. Although culture negative, real-time PCR targeting 16S rRNA genomic sequence yielded positive results; the amplified product was further subjected to exhaustive analysis of the 16S rRNA sequence, which revealed the sequence to be a member of the genus Curtobacterium , known as indigenous bacteria of the soil as well as a potential infective agent of humans. This result illustrates both the advantages and the limitations of nucleic acid amplification based techniques.