Urine polymerase chain reaction is not as sensitive as urine antigen for the diagnosis of disseminated histoplasmosis.Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2006 Apr; 54(4):283-7.DM
We developed a colorimetric microtiter plate polymerase chain reaction enzyme immunoassay (PCR-EIA) for the detection of Histoplasma capsulatum in urine. The specificity of the PCR assay was confirmed using H. capsulatum (positive control) and Blastomyces dermatitidis (negative control) isolates. The analytical sensitivity of the PCR assay was determined by testing urine samples spiked with freshly grown H. capsulatum organisms and was 2 yeasts per reaction in urine and 0.2 yeasts per reaction in urine sediment after centrifugation. Fifty-one urine specimens positive for H. capsulatum antigen and 25 urine specimens from healthy volunteers were tested blindly. Patient specimens also were cultured for H. capsulatum. The PCR assay was positive in 4 (7.8%) of 51 urine specimens containing antigen and negative in urine specimens from healthy volunteers. The positive PCR results occurred in 4 of 5 urine specimens that were positive by culture, and each exhibited high level of antigenuria (>20 U). Urine cultures were not positive in 24 urine specimens with an antigenuria of 1-19.9 U, but were positive in 5 of 27 urine specimens with antigenuria >20 U. Thus, positive PCR results in urine specimens correlate with positive culture results, but not with antigenuria. The low sensitivity of this PCR assay in urine limits its use in the diagnosis of disseminated histoplasmosis.