Ureaplasma parvum prosthetic joint infection detected by PCR

John J. Farrell, Joshua A. Larson, Jeffrey W. Akeson, Kristin S. Lowery, Megan A. Rounds, Rangarajan Sampath, Robert A. Bonomo, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We describe the first reported case of Ureaplasma parvum prosthetic joint infection (PJI) detected by PCR. Ureaplasma species do not possess a cell wall and are usually associated with colonization and infection of mucosal surfaces (not prosthetic material). U. parvum is a relatively new species name for certain serovars of Ureaplasma urealyticum, and PCR is useful for species determination. Our patient presented with late infection of his right total knee arthroplasty. Intraoperative fluid and tissue cultures and pre- and postoperative synovial fluid cultures were all negative. To discern the pathogen, we employed PCR coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS). Our patient's failure to respond to empirical antimicrobial treatment and our previous experience with PCR/ESI-MS in culture-negative cases of infection prompted us to use this approach over other diagnostic modalities. PCR/ESI-MS detected U. parvum in all samples. U. parvum-specific PCR testing was performed on all synovial fluid samples to confirm the U. parvum detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2248-2250
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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