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Keywords:

  • Digoxigenin-polymerase chain reaction screening;
  • Sulfate-reducing bacterium;
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • Colonoscopy

Abstract

A PCR-based approach combined with microbiological cultivation methods was employed to determine the occurrence of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in colon biopsy samples from ulcerative colitis patients and from non-colitic controls. The detection of mucosa-associated SRB was carried out by digoxigenin-dUTP-labelled PCR amplification, in liquid Postgate medium B and in a new liquid medium, termed VM medium I. Using Postgate medium B, the growth of SRB was confirmed in 92% of the colitic specimens and in 52% of non-colitic samples. However, PCR analysis and incubation in VM medium I detected SRB in 100% of biopsy material indicating ubiquitous presence of SRB in human colon mucosa.