Abdollah Karimi, Fatemeh Fallah, Farideh Shiva, Anahita Sanaii, Mana Hadipour Jahromi and Masoumeh Navidinia
Recent attention has focused on the role of pneumococcal proteins, including the pneumococcal surface adhesion A, (PsaA] as a virulence factor in the pathogenesis of infections with Streptococcus pneumoniae. Immunization with these proteins may provide long lasting protection against virulent pneumococci. Objective of this work is to detect the psaA gene in different serotypes of S. pneumonia found in the upper respiratory tract of healthy children and to evaluate the potential usefulness of the psaA PCR assay as a possible diagnostic method for Pneumococcal disease. In this study, nasopharyngeal swabs were taken from healthy children under 10 years old recruited from randomly selected daycare centers and primary schools in Tehran. These swabs were tested for the presence of Pnuemococci by both culture and the psaA PCR assay. To detect the gene we used a PCR-amplified internal fragment of the psaA gene . Samples were collected from 485 children. S. pneumoniae was isolated from 228 (47%) samples; fifteen different serotypes were identified. PCR detected the psaA gene in 164 specimens, (70%). Our results confirm that psaA is present and detectable in heterologous serotypes of S. pneumoniae. These results indicate that PsaA can be used for detection of invasive pneumococcal serotypes in carriers and may be for vaccination development in different areas .
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