A DNA dot hybridization model for molecular diagnosis of parasitic keratitis

Fu Chin Huang, Hsin Yi Hsieh, Tsung C. Chang, Shu Li Su, Shin Ling Tseng, Yu Hsuan Lai, Ming Tse Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Developing a DNA dot hybridization model for diagnosing parasitic keratitis. Methods: Newly designed oligonucleotide probes for detecting Acanthamoeba and microsporidia were tested with target reference strains of Acanthamoeba (n = 20) and microsporidia (n = 3), and non-target microorganisms, including bacteria (n = 20) and fungi (n = 20). These probes, which had passed the preliminary tests, were then assembled as a parasite dot hybridization (PDH) model for assessing 33 clinical samples from patients with clinically suspected Acanthamoeba and microsporidia keratitis, including eight positives for Acanthamoeba, 13 positives for microsporidia, and 12 negatives for both pathogens. Results: Two probes for detecting Acanthamoeba and two for detecting microsporidia passed the tests using target and non-target strains and then were assembled in the PDH model. For clinical samples, one Acanthamoeba-positive sample (proved with pathology) was falsely negative according to the PDH assay. The sensitivity and specificity of the PDH assay for diagnosing Acanthamoeba keratitis were 87.5% and 100%, respectively, while the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing microsporidia keratitis were 100%. The infectious agent of all clinical samples of microsporidia keratitis was identified as Vittaforma corneae with DNA sequencing, while those of Acanthamoeba keratitis were caused by four species of Acanthamoeba, with Acanthamoeba castellanii found in four samples (50%, 4/8). Conclusions: The PDH model has the potential to be a molecular assay for diagnosing Acanthamoeba and microsporidia keratitis. However, a prospective clinical study might be needed before the model is adopted in routine clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-623
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Vision
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 24

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


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