Journal of microbiological methods

Design and use of mouse control DNA for DNA biomarker extraction and PCR detection from urine: Application for transrenal Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA detection.

PMID 28285168


Urine samples are increasingly used for diagnosing infections including Escherichia coli, Ebola virus, and Zika virus. However, extraction and concentration of nucleic acid biomarkers from urine is necessary for many molecular detection strategies such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Since urine samples typically have large volumes with dilute biomarker concentrations making them prone to false negatives, another impediment for urine-based diagnostics is the establishment of appropriate controls particularly to rule out false negatives. In this study, a mouse glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) DNA target was added to retrospectively collected urine samples from tuberculosis (TB)-infected and TB-uninfected patients to indicate extraction of intact DNA and removal of PCR inhibitors from urine samples. We tested this design on surrogate urine samples, retrospective 1milliliter (mL) urine samples from patients in Lima, Peru and retrospective 5mL urine samples from patients in Cape Town, South Africa. Extraction/PCR control DNA was detectable in 97% of clinical samples with no statistically significant differences among groups. Despite the inclusion of this control, there was no difference in the amount of TB IS6110 Tr-DNA detected between TB-infected and TB-uninfected groups except for samples from known HIV-infected patients. We found an increase in TB IS6110 Tr-DNA between TB/HIV co-infected patients compared to TB-uninfected/HIV-infected patients (N=18, p=0.037). The inclusion of an extraction/PCR control DNA to indicate successful DNA extraction and removal of PCR inhibitors should be easily adaptable as a sample preparation control for other acellular sample types.