|Title of Invention||
"A METHOD FOR DETECTING THE PRESENCE OF A MICROORGANISM IN A TEST SAMPLE"
|Abstract||A method for detecting the presence of a microorganism in a test sample which comprises exposing the test sample to an inducer of the kind such as herein described which is capable of inducing expression of at least one gene of the kind such as herein described in the microorganism and testing for the presence of mRNA transcribed from said gene which is induced by exposure to the said inducer wherein the testing for the presence of said mRNA transcribed from said gene which is induced by exposure to the said inducer comprises performing an amplification reaction to amplify the whole or a portion of the mRNA and detecting specific products of the amplification reaction, wherein the inducer is a chemical agent.|
|Full Text||The present invention relates to a method fordetecting the presence of a microorganism in a test sample
The present invention is concerned with methods for detecting the presence of microorganisms, particularly slow-growing bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium, by induction of mRNA expression and detection of the induced mRNA.
BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
Despite effective antimicrobial therapy, tuberculosis remains a major source of morbidity and mortality throughout the world and is increasing worldwide. Early diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment for tuberculosis meningitis improve the outcome of the disease, but the detection of Mycojbacteriura tuberculosis in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by conventional methods remains a challenge. The challenge for diagnosis of mycobacterium is that the low number of M. tuberculosis organisms and their slow growth limit detection by acid-fast stains and culture techniques (Molavi A and J.L. LeFrock., Med. Clin. North. Am. 69:315-331. 1985).
Several research groups have described PCR assays for the sensitive and specific detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in clinical samples. Direct identification of mycobacteria in clinical samples by PCR amplification of a specific target nucleic acid sequence offers the potential for same-day diagnosis of infection. PCR techniques have been applied on real clinical samples but are limited by the small sample size that can be tested, the low number of organisms present in clinical samples, false-positive results due to contamination, and the presence of PCR inhibitors (Kox et al., J.Clin Micro 32:672-678. 1994) .
The predictive value for detection is greatly dependent on the incidence of M. tuberculosis-positive samples among the clinical specimens investigated. Grosset and Mouton recommended that PCR should not be used for the routine diagnosis of tuberculosis until the technique is robust and internal and external quality control procedures exists (Grosset J. and Y Mouton., Tubercle Lung dis 76:183-184. 1995). In an international collaborative quality control study among 30 laboratories only five laboratories correctly identified the presence or absence of mycobacterial DNA in all 20 samples (Noordhoek G.T. J. Clin. Microbiology 34:2522-2525. 1996). This study also showed that lack of_ specificity was more of a problem than lack of sensitivity. As yet, amplification-based detection techniques have not replaced the conventional diagnostic techniques (Piersimoni et al., 36:3601-3604. 1998. J. Clin Microbiology; see also Piersimoni et al. 35:193-196. 1997. J. Clin Microbiology).
Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is a chronic enteric pathogen that can affect many different species of animals including primates (Chiodini et al., Cornell Vet. 74:218-262. 1984). The organism was first identified 100 years ago as the cause of chronic inflammation of the intestine in a German cow. Classification of Johne's disease or paratuberculosis in animals is characterized by the presence in the affected intestine of millions of bacillary-form acid-fast mycobacteria with macrophages but with little additional inflammatory cell infiltrate. M. paratuberculosis is rarely cultured in its bacillary form from these animals. This clinicopathological spectrum of pluribacillary-paucimicrobial paratuberculosis in animals is reminiscent of the
extremes represented by the lepromatous and tuberculoid forms of leprosy in humans. Progress in our understanding of M. tuberculosis and of the diseases it causes has been considerably retarded over the years by the sometimes-great difficulty of identifying this agent by conventional culture in the laboratory (Chiodini et al., Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2:90-117. 1989). There may be a high risk, particularly in peak time, that residual M. tuberculosis will be present in retail pasteurized cows milk in the UK.
Thus, there remains a need for sensitive, specific methods of detecting Microbacterium spp., particularly M. tuberculosis.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with a first aspect of the invention there is provided a method for detecting the presence of a microorganism in a test sample which comprises exposing the test sample to an inducer which is capable of inducing expression of at least one gene in the microorganism and testing for the presence of mRNA transcribed from a gene which is induced by exposure to the said inducer.
In a preferred embodiment the microorganism may be a slow-growing bacterium. Preferred slow-growing bacteria include, for example, Borreliae, Pediococcus, Mycoplasma, and strains of Mycobacteria.
The method is most preferred for the detection of Mycobacteria Spp., particularly Afycobacteriura tuberculosis, Mycobacterium para tuberculosis (e.g. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis) and Mycobacterium bovis.
The "test sample" suspected of containing the microorganism will most commonly be a clinical sample taken from an individual to be tested for the presence of the microorganism.
Testing for the presence of specific mRNA sequences will preferably be carried out on a preparation of nucleic acid isolated from the test sample. This preparation of nucleic acid must include mRNA, however it need not be a preparation of purified poly A-f mRNA and preparations of total RNA or even preparations of total nucleic acid containing both RNA and genomic DNA are also suitable as starting material, depending on the nature of the technique used to test for the presence of the specific mRNA. Essentially any technique known in the art for the isolation of a preparation of nucleic acid including mRNA may be used to isolate nucleic acid from the test sample. A preferred technique is the "Boom" isolation method described in US-A-5,234,809 and EP-B-0389,063. This method, which can be used to isolate a nucleic acid preparation containing both RNA and DNA, is based an the nucleic acid binding properties of silicon dioxide particles in the presence of the chaotropic agent guanidine thiocyanate (GuSCN).
In a preferred embodiment the step of testing for the presence of mRNA transcribed from a gene which is induced by exposure to the inducer comprises performing an amplification reaction to amplify the whole or a portion of the mRNA and detecting specific products of the amplification reaction. Most preferably, the amplification reaction is reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA).
RT-PCR is well known in the art for the detection
of specific mRNA sequences. Protocols for performing RT-PCR and detecting the specific products of RT-PCR reactions may be found in standard texts such as, for example, PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications, Eds Innis et al., Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1990; PCR in Bioanalysis: Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 92, S.J. Smeltzer, Ed., Humana Press, Totowa, NJ., 1998. NASBA is a relatively new method for the amplification of RNA (see Compton, Nature. 350: 91-92 (1991)). NASBA is well known by persons of ordinary skill in the art and is described, for example, in US-A-5,409,818. NASBA is an effective procedure for generating large quantities of a target RNA sequence in vitro, allowing detection of target RNA sequences that are present in very low concentrations in the original test sample.
The NASBA method is based on the use of similar primer-sets to those used for PCR but one primer is modified with a promoter sequence, for example a T7 promoter. The sensitivity and specificity of the NASBA amplification has been shown to be the same as for PCR and better then most RT-PCR protocols. Since the NASBA method is an isothermal assay and it is dependent on RNase H it cannot amplify DNA.
NASBA is preferably carried out according to the following procedure:
(a) assemble a reaction mixture comprising a NASBA PI and NASBA P2 primer pair suitable for use in amplification of a region of the target microorganism mRNA by NASBA (see below), an RNA directed DNA polymerase, a ribonuclease that hydrolyses the RNA strand of an RNA-DNA hybrid without hydrolysing single or double stranded RNA or DNA, an RNA polymerase that recognises a promoter sequence present in the NASBA PI primer and ribonucleoside and deoxyribonucleoside
(b) incubate the reaction medium with a
preparation of nucleic acid isolated from a test
sample suspected of containing the microorganism under
reaction conditions which permit a NASBA amplification
(c) detect and/or quantitatively measure any
microorganism-specific product of the NASBA
Detection of the specific product (s) of a NASBA reaction (i.e. sense and/or antisense copies of the target RNA) may be carried out in a number of different ways. In one approach the NASBA product(s) may be detected with the use of a target-specific hybridisation probe capable of specifically annealing to the NASBA product. The hybridisation probe may be attached to a revealing label, for example a fluorescent, luminescent, radioactive or chemiluminescent compound or an enzyme label or any other type of label known to those of ordinary skill in the art. The precise nature of the label is not critical, but it should be capable of producing a signal detectable by external means, either by itself or in conjunction with one or more additional substances (e.g. the substrate for an enzyme).
Also within the scope of the invention is so-called "real-time NASBA" which allows continuous monitoring of the formation of the product of the NASBA reaction over the course of the reaction. This may be achieved using a "molecular beacons" probe comprising a target-specific sequence capable of annealing to the NASBA product, a hairpin forming oligonucleotide sequence and a pair of fluorescer/quencher moieties, as described in WO 95/13399. Molecular beacons technology is described
more fully below. If the molecular beacons probe is added to the reaction mixture prior to amplification it may be possible to monitor the formation of the NASBA product in real-time (see Leone et al., Nucleic Acids Research, 1998, Vol 26, 2150-2155).
In a further approach, the molecular beacons technology may be incorporated into one of the aligonucleotide primers used in the NASBA amplification, as described below, in order to facilitate real-time monitoring of the NASBA reaction without the need for a separate hybridisation probe.
In a still further approach the products of the NASBA reaction may be monitored using a generic labelled detection probe which hybridises to a riucleotide sequence in the 5' terminus of primer 2. This is equivalent to the "NucliSens™" detection system supplied by Organon Teknika. In this system specificity for NASBA products derived from the target mRNA may be conferred by using target-specific capture probes comprising probe oligonucleotides as described herein attached to a solid support such as a magnetic microbead. Most preferably the generic labelled detection probe is the ECL™ detection probe supplied by Organon Teknika. NASBA amplicons are hybridized to the HPV-specific capture probes and the generic ECL probe (via a complementary sequence on primer 2). Following hybridization the bead/amplicon/ECL probe complexes may be captured at the magnet electrode of an automatic ECL reader (e.g. the NucliSens1™ reader supplied by Organon Teknika. Subsequently, a voltage pulse triggers the ECL™ reaction.
The "induced gene or gene(s)" may be any gene(s) which can be induced by an external stimulus such as, for example, a chemical agent or environmental change.
Induction of expression of one or more genes, followed by specific detection of transcripts of at least one induced gene, provides an additional level of amplification and thus increased sensitivity as compared to methods which rely on detection of mRNA expression without an induction step.
The "inducer" may be essentially anything which is capable of inducing expression of one or more genes in the target species of microorganism. The inducer may be a chemical substance or an environmental stimulus such as, for example, exposure to light of a particular wavelength.
The test sample to be tested for the presence of the microorganism is exposed to the inducer for a period of time sufficient to produce the desired induction of gene expression. The precise exposure time required will vary depending on the nature of the inducer and the target gene to be induced. For any given inducer/gene combination a suitable exposure time may be determined empirically by routine experiment. Following exposure to the inducer, nucleic acid may be isolated from the test sample as described above.
In one embodiment, the invention provides a method of detecting microorganisms which is based on induction of expression of a gene encoding the enzyme superoxide dismutase by exposure of the test sample to oxygen or hydrogen peroxide, followed by testing for the presence of mRNA transcripts corresponding to this gene. This method is preferred for the detection of Mycobacteria, most advantageously M. tuberculosis or M. para tuberculosis, but may be adapted for the detection of any microorganism having a superoxide dismutase gene, wherein expression of this gene is
a NASBA P1 primer comprising SEQ ID NO:38 and a NASBA I?2 primer comprising SEQ ID N0:37;
a NASBA P1 primer comprising SEQ ID NO:61 and a NASBA f?2 primer comprising SEQ ID NO:62;
a NASBA PI primer comprising SEQ ID NO:64 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID N0:65;
MASBA P1 primer 4-86 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID NO:61, preferably primer 4-85;
primer 4-92 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID HO:64, preferably primer 4-91;
primer 4-104 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID NO:19, preferably primer 4-103;
primer 4-122 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID NO:31, preferably primer 4-115;
Primer sets for detection by RT-PCR:
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:20 and PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:19;
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID N0:26 and-a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:25;
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:32 and a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID N0:31;
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:38 and a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:37;
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:61 and a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:62; or
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:64 and a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO:65.
In each case the "SEQ ID NOs:" refer to the sequences set forth in Table 1 and the "primer numbers" to the primers listed in Table 2.
Probe oligonucleotides suitable for use in the detection of the products of NASBA and RT-PCR reactions performed using these specific primer sets a're also provided by the invention, as discussed below.
In a further embodiment, the invention provides a method of detecting microorganisms which is based on induction of expression of the pncA gene by exposure of the test sample to a chemical inducer which may be isopropyl-B-D-thiogalactopyranoside or pyrazinamide, followed by testing for the presence of mRNA transcripts corresponding to the pncA gene. This method is again preferred for the detection of Mycobacteria Spp. The complete cDNA sequence for M. tuberculosis pncA is available under GenBank accession number U59967 (see also SEQ ID N0s:98 and 99). PncA homologs in other species of microorganism may be identified by using methods well known to those skilled in the art.
Again, the step of testing for the presence of mRNA transcripts corresponding to the pncA gene may be accomplished by amplifying the whole or a portion of the mRNA by RT-PCR or NASBA and detecting pncA-specific amplification products.
Suitable primer-sets specifically for use in the amplification of pncA mRNA from Mycobacterium
tuberculosis by RT-PCR or NASBA are given below. Primer sets for detection by NASBA:
a NASBA P1 primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 2 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID N0:l;
a NASBA PI primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 8 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID N0:7;
a NASBA PI primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 14 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 13;
primer 4-2 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID N0:l, preferably primer 4-1;
primer 4-8 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 7, preferably primer 4-7; or
primer 4-14 and a NASBA P2 primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 13, preferably primer 4-15.
Primer sets for detection by RT-PCR:
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 2 and a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID N0:l;
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 8 and a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 7; or
a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 14 and a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID NO: 13.
The invention further provides target-specific primers and oligonucleotide probes for use in the detection of Mycobacterium spp. , particularly for use
in detection of Mycobacterium spp. by RT-PCR or NASBA.
In particular, the invention provides primer and probe oligonucleotides comprising the sequences represented as SEQ ID NOs: I to 42, 61 to 69 and 74 to 97 in Table I:
TABLE 1-Mycojbacteriujn-specific sequences for inclusion in primers and probes.
represents a nucleotide sequence comprising a
promoter. Oligonucleotides adapted for use as NASBA P1 primers have the general structure "X1-SEQ", wherein "X1" represents a nucleotide sequence comprising a promoter and "SEQ" represents a target-specific sequence (SEQ ID NO), as given in the accompanying sequence listing. The inclusion of a promoter sequence is essential in NASBA PI primers but is not necessary in PCR primers, as discussed below. In a preferred embodiment, X: may be a sequence comprising a T7 promoter, most preferably the sequence AAT TCT AAT ACG ACT CAC TAT AGG GAG AAGG.
X2 and x3 represent a fluorescent moiety and a quencher moiety capable of substantially or completely quenching the fluorescence from the fluorescent moiety when the two are held together in close proximity.
nt - denotes position in the relevant cDNA sequence.
The invention further provides the
Oligonucleotides listed in Table 2, these being NASBA P1 primers incorporating a particular promoter sequence and NASBA P2 primers incorporating a sequence for binding of a generic detection probe (see below) for use in the detection of Mycobacteria spp, by NASBA. However, it is not intended that the scope of the invention should be limited to these,specific molecules:
The oligonucleotide primers and probes provided by the invention may be grouped into several types. A first type of oligonucleotides are NASBA PI primers, which are oligonucleotides of generally approximately 50 bases in length, containing an average of about 20 bases at the 3' end that are complementary to a region of the target mRNA. Oligonucleotides suitable for use as NASBA Pi primers are denoted "NASBA Pl/PCR" in Table 1. The 5' ends of the PI primer oligonucleotides (represented herein in general terms as Xt) comprise a promoter sequence that is recognized by a specific RNA polymerase. Bacteriophage
promoters, for example the T7, T3 and SPG promoters, are preferred for use in the oligonucleotides of the invention, .since they provide advantages of high level transcription which is dependent only on binding of the appropriate RNA polymerase. In a preferred embodiment, the 5' terminal sequence of the PI primer oligonucleotides may comprise the sequence AATTCTAATACGACTCACTATAGGG. This sequence contains a T7 promoter, including the transcription initiation site for T7 RNA polymerase. The Mycobacterium-s'pecific sequences denoted in Table 1 as "NASBA Pl/PCR" are suitable for use in both NASBA Pi primers and standard PCR primers. When these sequences are used as the basis of NASBA P1 primers they have the general structure X1-SEQ, wherein Xx represents a sequence comprising a promoter and SEQ represents the target-specific sequence. The promoter sequence X1 is essential in a NASBA P1 primer. However, when the same sequences are used as the basis of standard PCR primers it is not necessary to include X1. The phrase "sequence number" as used in the claims is to be interpreted accordingly.
For the avoidance of doubt, the phrase "a NASBA P1 primer comprising SEQ ID N0:l" is to be interpreted as requiring the presence of an X1 sequence 5' to the Mycobacterium specific sequence listed as SEQ ID NO:1, whereas the phrase "a PCR primer comprising SEQ ID N0:l" refers to any suitable PCR primer comprising the Mycobacterium specific sequence, X1 not being an essential feature of a PCR primer.
A second type of oligonucleotides provided by the invention are NASBA primer 2 oligonucleotides which generally comprise a sequence of approximately 20 bases substantially identical to a region of the target, mRNA. The oligonucleotide sequences denoted in
Table 1 as "NASBA P2/PCR" are suitable for use in both NASBA P1 primers and standard PCR primers. Oligonucleotldes intended for use as NASBA P2 primers may, in a particular but non-limiting embodiment, further comprise a sequence of nucleotides at the 5' end which is unrelated to the target mRNA but which is capable of hybridising to a generic detection probe. The detection probe will preferably be labelled, for example with a fluorescent, luminescent or enzymatic label. In one embodiment the detection probe is labelled with a label that permits detection using ECL™ technology, although it will be appreciated that the invention is in no way limited to this particular method of detection. In a preferred embodiment the 5' end of the primer 2 oligonucleotides may comprise the sequence GATGCAAGGTCGCATATGAG. This sequence is capable of hybridising to a generic ECL™ probe commercially available from Organon Teknika having the following structure:
Ru(bpy)32+-GAT GCA AGG TCG CAT ATG AG-31
In a different embodiment the primer 2 oligonucleotide may incorporate 'molecular beacons' technology, which is known in the art and described, for example, in WO 95/13399 by Tyagi and Kramer, Nature Biotechnology. 14: 303-308, 1996,.to allow for real-time monitoring of the NASBA reaction.
A third type of oligonucleotide molecules provided by the invention are target-specific probe oligonucleotides (denoted "probe" in Table 1) . The probe oligonucleotides generally comprise a sequence of approximately 20-25 bases substantially identical to a region of the target mRNA. The probe oligonucleotides may be used as target-specific hybridisation probes for detection of the products of
a NASBA or PCR reaction. In this connection the probe oligonucleotides may be coupled to a solid support, such as paramagnetic beads, to form a capture probe (see below). In a preferred embodiment the 5' end of the probe oligonucleotide may be labelled with biotin. The addition of a biotin label facilitates attachment of the probe to a solid support via a biotin/stre'ptavidin or biotin/avidin linkage.
A fourth type of oligonucleotide molecules provided by the invention (denoted as "MB probe" in Table 1) are target-specific probes incorporating "molecular beacons" technology which is known in the art and described, for example, by Tyagi and Kramer, Nature Biotechnology. 14: 303-308, 1996 and in WO 95/13399. The use of molecular beacons technology allows for real-time monitoring of amplification reactions, such as NASBA or RT-PCR reactions.
The molecular beacons probes generally include, in addition to a target-specific sequence, additional bases which allow formation of a hairpin loop structure, a fluorescent moiety and a quencher moiety, the fluorescent and the quencher moieties being represented herein by the notation X2 and X3. As will be appreciated be the skilled reader, the fluorescent and quencher moieties are selected such that the quencher moiety is capable of substantially or completely quenching the fluorescence from the fluorescent moiety when the two moieties are in close proximity, e.g. when the probe is in the hairpin "closed" conformation in the absence of the target sequence. The molecular beacons probes shown in Table 1 incorporate complementary flanking sequences at the 5' and 3' ends, flanking the mycobacteria-specific sequences, which are capable of hybridising to form a stem duplex. The precise nucleotide sequence of these
flanking sequences is not material to the invention, except for the requirement that they should be capable of forming a stem duplex when the probe is not bound to a target HPV sequence. Therefore, the skilled reader will appreciate that these sequences may be varied without affecting the function of the molecular beacon probes to a material extent. Any of the sequences denoted "probe" in Table I may be used as the basis of a molecular beacons probe may the addition of suitable complementary flanking sequences and quencher and fluorescer moieties.
Many examples of suitable pairs of quencher/fluorescer moieties which may be used in molecular beacon probes are known in the art (see WO 95/13399, Tyagi and Kramer, ibid). A broad range of fluorophores in many different colours made be used, including for example
5-(2'-aminoethyl)aminonaphthalene-1-sulphonic acid (EDANS), fluorescein, FAM and Texas Red (see Tyagi, Bratu and Kramer, 1998, Nature Biotechnology, 16, 49-53. The use of probes labelled with different coloured fluorophores enables "multiplex" detection of two or more different probes in a single reaction vessel. A preferred quencher is
4-(4'-dimethylaminophenylazo)benzoic acid (DABCYL), a non-fluorescent chromophore, which serves as a '"universal" quencher for a wide range of fluorophores. The fluorescer and quencher moieties may be covalently attached to the probe in either orientation, either with the fluorescer at or near the 5' end and the quencher at or near the 3' end or vice versa. Protocols for the synthesis of molecular beacon probes are known in the art. A detailed protocol for synthesis is provided in a paper entitled "Molecular Beacons: Hybridization Probes for Detection of Nucleic Acids in Homogenous Solutions" by Sanjay Tyagi et al.,
Department of Molecular Genetics, Public Health Research Institute, 455 First Avenue, New York, NY • 10016, USA, which is available online via the PHRI website (at www.phri.nyu.edu or www.molecular-beacons .org).
Suitable combinations of primer 1 and primer 2 oligonucleotide molecules may be used in the detection of a target mRNA by NASBA. In order to drive a NASBA amplification reaction the primer 1 and primer 2 dligonucleotides must be capable of priming synthesis of a double-stranded DNA from a target region of mRNA. For this to occur the primer 1 and primer 2 oligonucleotides must comprise target-specific sequences which are complementary to regions of the sense and the antisense strand of the target mRNA, respectively.
In the first phase of the NASBA amplification cycle, the so-called "non-cyclic" phase, the primer 1 oligonucleotide anneals to a complementary sequence in the target mRNA and it's 3' end is extended by the action of an RNA-dependent DNA polymerase (e.g. reverse transcriptase) to form a first-strand cDNA synthesis. The RNA strand of the resulting RNA:DNA hybrid is then digested, e.g. by the action of RNaseH, to leave a single stranded DNA. The primer 2 oligonucleotide anneals to a complementary sequence towards the 3' end of this single stranded DNA and it's 3' end is extended (by the action of reverse transcriptase), forming a double stranded DNA. RNA polymerase is then able to transcribe multiple RNA copies from the now transcriptionally active promoter sequence within the double-stranded DNA. This RNA transcript, which is antisense to the original target mRNA, can act as a template for a further round of NASBA reactions, with primer 2 annealing to the RNA
and priming synthesis of the first cDNA strand and primer 1 priming synthesis of the second cDNA strand. The general principles of the NASBA reaction are well known in the art (see Compton, J. Nature. 350: 91-92).
The target-specific probe oligonucleotides described herein may also be attached to a solid support, such as magnetic microbeads, and used as "capture probes" to immobilise the product of the NASBA amplification reaction (a single stranded RNA). The target-specific "molecular beacons" probes described herein may be used for real-time monitoring of the NASBA reaction.
The invention will be further understood with reference to the following experimental examples, with reference to the accompanying Figures in which:
Figure 1 illustrates a time course for amplification of M. tuberculosis and M. bovis sodA mRNA using realtime NASBA amplification with molecular beacons probes. X-axis fluorescence (relative units), y-axis time (seconds).
EiXample 1-Induction of bacterial_gene expression 1) Treatment with oxygen
The specimen containing the slow growing mycobacteria is inoculated into liquid medium. The bacteria are exposed to oxygen gas (bubbling) for 10 and 60 minutes.
Due to a variable amount of bacteria collected, the samples are diluted in the liquid medium used for culturing before they are transferred to the lysis
buffer. Dilutions -1:1 and 1:100
2) Inoculation in growth media
Place the bacterial sample in medium optimal for growth of the bacterium in guestion over night at 37°C. Even though bacteria will not multiply to a considerable extent, this will be sufficient for induction of genes for initiation of the NASBA amplification reaction.
Lysis of bacteria
• Lysis buffer (0.9 ml with low pH) is stored at
2-8°C. Before use, the buffer must be heated to 37°C
for 30 minutes so that all crystals are dissolved.
• 100 ml bacterium culture is added to 0.9 ml buffer.
• The lysis buffer with the bacteria is incubated at
37°C for 10 minutes.
Store the lysed bacteria at -70°C or extract nucleic acids immediately.
3) Extraction of DNA/RNA from the induced bacterium
The following procedure was carried out according to the manual from Nuclisens™, Organon Teknika:
• Add 50 µl silica particles to each sample and
incubate for 10 min at room temperature. Mix the tubes
every 2nd minute.
• Transfer all the material from the sample in the
cartridge for use in the Nuclisens™ Extractor.
' Follow the manual for the method: "Extraction of 1
Testing of primers for detection of superoxide dismutase in Mycobacterium spp
2 X reagents sphere 2 X 80 pi diluent
Mix well, then add
28 ti 1 NASBA water 32 pi KC1
(All reagents are from the Nuclisens™ system, supplied by Organon Teknika)
Distribute in 8 tubes, 27.5 pi in each tube. Add primers in the following way. (Primer numbers correspond to the primers listed in Table 2)
Samples: M. tuberculosis and M. bovis
Amplification was performed 41°C for 2.5 hours. Products were detected on an Agilent Bioanalyser
Results: The primers detect both M. tuberculosis and M. bovis as expected from their sequence.
Example 3 Amp1ificatipn of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from a patient sample.
1) ATTC bacterium strain grown in culture (control)
2) Patient sample
2 reagent sphere
2 X 80 ul reagent sphere diluent
Mixed in one tube, added
23 ul nasbawater
10 ul primer 1 (4-122; SEQ ID NO:56)
10 ul primer 2 (4-115; SEQ ID NO:53)
5 µl molecular beacons (4-125; SEQ ID NO:41)
32 ul KC1
Results, increase in signal
Example 4 NASBA amplification with molecular beacons of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
The two primer mixes are divided into 4 tubes (a total
of 8), 29.5 pi in each tube.
Add molecular beacons; 0.63 pi in each tube:
.1 a) 4-118 (SEQ ID N0:34)
I b) 4-119 (SEQ ID N0:35)
1 c) 4-124 (SEQ ID N0:40)
1 d) 4-125 (SEQ ID N0:41)
2 a) 4-118 (SEQ ID N0:34) 2 b) 4-119 (SEQ ID N0:35)
2 c) 4-124 (SEQ ID N0:40) 2 d) 4-125 (SEQ ID N0:41)
2 X enzyme is diluted in 2 X 55 µl diluent Reagents from NucliSens, OrganonTeknika
Sample 2 and 24 is M. tuberculosis
Sample 1 is M. bovis
Amplification and detection in reader at 41°C for 2.5
Results, times increase in signal.
An increase of 1.5 is regarded as positive
Amplification was detected for all samples - best results detected for mastermix no Id.
Optimal results detected for the following combination of primers and molecular beacons: primer2: 4-115 (SEQ ID NO:53) primerl: 4-122 (SEQ ID NO:56} molecular beacon: 4-125 (SEQ ID NO:41)
See graphic presentation of amplification in Figure 1
Example 5 Specificity of Mvcobacterium tuberculosis, primers for sod&
Conclusion: The primers are specific for M. tuberculosis or M. bovis and will not react with other mycobacteria or related bacteria like Micrococcus luteus.
SEQ ID NO:57 Nucleotide sequence for M.tuberculosis sodA
SEQ ID NO:58 Amino acid sequence for M.tuberculosis sodA
SEQ ID NO:59 Nucleotide sequence for M.avium subsp. para tuberculosis sod
SEQ ID NO:60 Amino acid sequence for M.avium subsp. para tuberculosis sod
SEQ ID NO:98 Nucleotide sequence for M.tuberculosis pncA
SEQ ID NO:99 Amino acid sequence for M. tuberculosis pncA
1. A method for detecting the presence of a microorganism in a test sample which comprises exposing the test sample to an inducer of the kind such as herein described which is capable of inducing expression of at least one gene of the kind such as herein described in the microorganism and testing for the presence of mRNA transcribed from said gene which is induced by exposure to the said inducer wherein the testing for the presence of said mRNA transcribed from said gene which is induced by exposure to the said inducer comprises performing an amplification reaction to amplify the whole or a portion of the mRNA and detecting specific products of the amplification reaction, wherein the inducer is a chemical agent.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the amplification reaction is nucleic acid sequence-based amplification.
3. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 2, wherein the inducer is oxygen or hydrogen peroxide and the gene which is induced by exposure to the inducer is a gene encoding superoxide dismutase.
4. A method as claimed in claim 3 wherein the step of testing for the presence of mRNA transcribed from the gene encoding superoxide dismutase comprises:
(a) assembling a reaction mixture comprising a NASBA PI and NASBA P2 primer pair suitable for use in amplification of a region of the said mRNA by NASBA, an RNA directed DNA polymerase, a ribonuclease that hydrolyses the RNA strand of an RNA-DNA hybrid without hydrolysing single or double stranded RNA or DNA, an RNA polymerase that recognises a promoter sequence present in the NASBA PI primer and ribonucleoside and deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates;
(b) incubating said reaction medium with a preparation of nucleic acid isolated from a test sample suspected of containing the microorganism under reaction conditions which permit a NASBA amplification reaction; and
(c) detecting and/or quantitatively measuring any specific product of the NASBA
|Indian Patent Application Number||1712/DELNP/2003|
|PG Journal Number||40/2009|
|Date of Filing||20-Oct-2003|
|Name of Patentee||NORCHIP A/S|
|Applicant Address||INDUSTRIVEIEN 8, N-3490 KLOKKARSTUA, NORWAY.|
|PCT International Classification Number||C12Q 1/68|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/GB02/01308|
|PCT International Filing date||2002-03-20|