We evaluated the use of a newly described sodC-based real-time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for detecting Neisseria meningitidis
in normally sterile sites, such as cerebrospinal fluid and serum. The sodC-based RT-PCR assay has an advantage over ctrA for detecting nongroupable N. meningitidis
isolates, which are commonly present in asymptomatic pharyngeal carriage. However, in our study, sodC-based RT-PCR was 7.5% less sensitive than ctrA. Given the public health impact of possible false-negative results due to the use of the sodC target gene alone, sodC-based RT-PCR for the diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis should be used with caution.