Paper on molecular diagnosis of meningococcal disease published in IJMS

16 Nov 2022

Congratulations to MPRU and Wellcome International Intermediate Fellow Dr Brenda Kwambana-Adams and co-authors on their recent publication in IJMS! The paper describes a novel, inexpensive and practical method to store, transport and process clinical specimens in resource-limited settings and in outbreak settings. Leveraging a well-described collection from UKHSA meningococcal reference unit, venous blood or CSF collected from patients were spotted onto filter papers, dried and stored at ambient temperature, and subsequently subjected to an optimised nucleic acid extraction and real time PCR protocol to detect and genogroup N. meningitidis.

Encouragingly, the dried spot method achieved >89% sensitivity and >94% specificity compared to the gold standard liquid extraction protocol. Brenda and colleagues also demonstrate that DNA extracted from the dried spots is of sufficient quality and quantity to yield high quality whole genome sequencing data. Although additional field testing is needed to test the robustness of the protocol, this dried spot assay could significantly improve case ascertainment, clinical diagnosis, and epidemiological tracking of meningococcal disease in low resource and outbreak settings. Please find the full report on the publisher’s site.