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Evolution of Toxoplasma-PCR methods and practices: a French national survey and proposal for technical guidelines

Abstract : The molecular diagnosis of toxoplasmosis lacks standardisation due to the use of numerous methods with variable performance. This diversity of methods also impairs robust performance comparisons between laboratories. The harmonisation of practices by diffusion of technical guidelines is a useful way to improve these performances. The knowledge of methods and practices used for this molecular diagnosis is an essential step to provide guidelines for Toxoplasma-PCR. In the present study, we aimed (i) to describe the methods and practices of Toxoplasma-PCR used by clinical microbiology laboratories in France and (ii) to propose technical guidelines to improve molecular diagnosis of toxoplasmosis. To do so, a yearly self-administered questionnaire-based survey was undertaken in proficient French laboratories from 2008 to 2015, and guidelines were proposed based on the results of those as well as previously published work. This period saw the progressive abandonment of conventional PCR methods, of Toxoplasma-PCR targeting the B1 gene and of the use of two concomitant molecular methods for this diagnosis. The diversity of practices persisted during the study, in spite of the increasing use of commercial kits such as PCR kits, DNA extraction controls and PCR inhibition controls. We also observed a tendency towards the automation of DNA extraction. The evolution of practices did not always go together with an improvement in those, as reported notably by the declining use of Uracil-DNA Glycosylase to avoid carry-over contamination. We here propose technical recommendations which correspond to items explored during the survey, with respect to DNA extraction, Toxoplasma-PCR and good PCR practices.
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-02318790
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Soumis le : lundi 30 mars 2020 - 10:03:08
Dernière modification le : vendredi 15 mai 2020 - 12:22:08

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Guillaume Roux, Emmanuelle Varlet-Marie, Patrick Bastien, Yvon Sterkers. Evolution of Toxoplasma-PCR methods and practices: a French national survey and proposal for technical guidelines. International Journal for Parasitology, Elsevier, 2018, 48 (9-10), pp.701-707. ⟨10.1016/j.ijpara.2018.03.011⟩. ⟨hal-02318790⟩

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