sodC-Based Real-Time PCR Assay for Detection of Neisseria meningitidis Infection

CDC researchers have developed a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Neisseria meningitidis sodC within clinical specimens. The ability to detect all strains of N. meningitidis, regardless of individual serogroup, is the central innovation of this technology. Further, the assay is sensitive enough to detect even the very limited sample sizes of N. meningitidis that would typically be found in clinical specimens. This technology avoids potentially catastrophic false-negative results associated with current N. meningitidis carriage study testing methods. At least 16% of carried N. meningitidis lacks the ctrA gene, which is the current target of serogroup-based real-time PCR. N. meningitidis is the etiologic agent of epidemic bacterial meningitis and sepsis throughout the world and rapid detection of N. meningitidis infection is essential for patient well-being.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Routine N. meningitis surveillance, especially useful in carriage studies
  • Rapid, specific identification of N. meningitis infection
  • Rapid, sensitive and specific
  • Present culture detection methods are limited by low sensitivity and long incubation periods; this assay demonstrates improved detection of meningococci, regardless of encapsulation status or bacteria viability
  • Circumvents ctrA-based testing-related false negative results in carriage studies
  • No further technical development needed for commercialization

Development Stage:
  • Early-stage
  • In vitro data available


Jennifer Thomas (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 9,487,832 issued 2016-11-08
PCT Application No. PCT/US2011/055784
US Application No. 61/391,493
US Application No. 13/816,903

Dolan TJ, et al. PMID 21573213

Licensing Contact:
Karen Surabian, J.D., M.B.A.
Phone: 301-594-9719

OTT Reference No: E-165-2013-0
Updated: Sep 17, 2013