Use of polymerase chain reaction to detect Proteus mirabilis and Ureaplasma urealyticum in urinary calculi

Ho Shiang Huang, Jun Chen, Lee Jene Teng, Ming Kuen Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in detecting urea-splitting microorganisms in desiccated urinary tract infection stones. Seventy-eight urinary tract stones were tested for the presence of Proteus mirabilis and Ureaplasma urealyticum by means of PCR with species-specific primers. Twenty-seven stone samples were composed of struvite and/or carbonate apatite (infection stone); 40 were calcium oxalate and/or calcium phosphate; seven were mixed, with struvite/carbonate apatite and calcium oxalate; and four were uric acid stones. PCR was performed with DNA extracted from pulverized stone pieces. Initial assays using the pulverized stone specimens spiked with microorganisms showed that PCR could not detect U. urealyticum at densities below 103 color changing units (CCU), or P. mirabilis at densities below 104 colony-forming units (CFU). PCR was negative for U. urealyticum and P. mirabilis in all metabolic stones from patients. P. mirabilis was detected by PCR in 10 of 34 patients with infection stones. Preoperative urine cultures grew P. mirabilis in three of these 10 patients, and were negative for P. mirabilis in the other seven. U. urealyticum was detected by PCR in stone samples from four patients, two of which were also PCR-positive for P. mirabilis. All four of these patients had infection stones; two had residual stones, and the other two had recurrence of urinary stones after their operations. These results demonstrate that microorganisms in urinary stones can be detected by PCR even when the voided urine culture is negative. Investigations into the role of bacterial infection in stone formation will require further improvements in the sensitivity of PCR assays for pathogen detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-850
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of polymerase chain reaction to detect Proteus mirabilis and Ureaplasma urealyticum in urinary calculi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this