Exploring target-specific primer extension in combination with a bead-based suspension array for multiplexed detection and typing using <i>Streptococcus suis</i> as a model pathogen

Wal, F.J. van der; Achterberg, R.P.; Smits, C.B.; Bergervoet, J.H.W.; Weerdt, M. de; Wisselink, H.J.


We investigated the feasibility of an assay based on target-specific primer extension, combined with a suspension array, for the multiplexed detection and typing of a veterinary pathogen in animal samples, using Streptococcus suis as a model pathogen. A procedure was established for simultaneous detection of 6 S. suis targets in pig tonsil samples (i.e., 4 genes associated with serotype 1, 2, 7, or 9, the generic S. suis glutamate dehydrogenase gene [gdh], and the gene encoding the extracellular protein factor [epf]). The procedure was set up as a combination of protocols: DNA isolation from porcine tonsils, a multiplex PCR, a multiplex target-specific primer extension, and finally a suspension array as the readout. The resulting assay was compared with a panel of conventional PCR assays. The proposed multiplex assay can correctly identify the serotype of isolates and is capable of simultaneous detection of multiple targets in porcine tonsillar samples. The assay is not as sensitive as the current conventional PCR assays, but with the correct sampling strategy, the assay can be useful for screening pig herds to establish which S. suis serotypes are circulating in a pig population.