In this work, we describe a rapid detection procedure for Mycoplasma gallisepticum from chicken tracheal swabs by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by LightCycler system, where we were able to monitor the amplification of the newly synthesized M. gallisepticum–specific PCR product as a proportionally increasing fluorescent signal by using the double-stranded DNA binding dye SYBR Green I and have identified M. gallisepticum–specific PCR products by DNA melting curve analysis by plotting the first negative derivative (−d[F1]/dT) of fluorescence over temperature. Detection limits of the PCR were found to be 3 and 3000 colony-forming units ml−1 with pure culture of M. gallisepticum and artificially spiked samples, respectively. Out of 96 tracheal swabs, 68 were taken from live chickens and 28 were taken by scraping the mucosal surface of the trachea (SMST) of necropsied chickens. All of the 18 PCR-positive results were from the swabs taken by the SMST method, whereas all of the samples taken from live chickens were negative. Thus, the PCR with the SMST method had a sensitivity and a specificity of 64.2% (18 of 28 chickens) and 100%, respectively. The total time required for template preparation from tracheal swab samples and real-time PCR was approximately 65 min. These results indicate that real-time PCR with the LightCycler technology is a rapid and sensitive test to identify M. gallisepticum–infected flocks if a proper sampling is applied.
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Vol. 47 • No. 3