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Volume 8, Number 2—February 2002


Broad-Range Bacterial Detection and the Analysis of Unexplained Death and Critical Illness

Simo Nikkari*†, Fred A. Lopez*†, Paul W. Lepp*, Paul R. Cieslak‡, Stephen Ladd-Wilson‡, Douglas Passaro§, Richard Danila¶, and David A. Relman*Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA; †VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA; ‡Oregon Health Division, Department of Human Services, Portland, Oregon, USA; §California Emerging Infections Program, Berkeley, California, USA; and ¶Minnesota Department of Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;

Main Article

Table 1

Characteristics of the bacterial 16S rDNA broad-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive cases

Case ID Sex Age
(yrs) Duration of
antibiotic therapy
before specimen obtained Clinical
syndrome(s)a 16S rDNA
PCR and sequencing
results Specimen Outcome
XOR6 M 18 10 min Neurologic Neisseria meningitidis CSF Survived
XOR34 M 13 3 days Neurologic N. meningitidis CSF Survived
XCA73 F 19 1 dayb Respiratory &
neurologic Streptococcuspneumoniae CSF Survived
XEB44 F 10 3 days Respiratory S. pneumoniae Pleural fluid Survived
XMN22 M 43 2 weeks Respiratory S. pneumoniae Pleural fluid Survived
XOR63 M 29 1 month Respiratory Stenotrophomonasmaltophilia Bone
aspirate Died (no autopsy)
XOR56 M 11 none Multisystem Staphylococcusepidermidis Blood
material Survived
XCT29 F 10 1 week Cardiac Bacillus sp., Halomonas
sp., Enterococcus sp. Blood
material Survived

aThe primary clinical syndrome(s) during hospitalization.
bA second cerebrospinal (CSF) sample obtained 5 days later also contained S. pneumoniae rDNA.

Main Article