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J Clin Microbiol. Nov 1997; 35(11): 2762–2766.
PMCID: PMC230057

Heminested PCR assay for detection of six genotypes of rabies and rabies-related viruses.


A heminested reverse transcriptase PCR (hnRT-PCR) protocol which is rapid and sensitive for the detection of rabies virus and rabies-related viruses is described. Sixty isolates from six of the seven genotypes of rabies and rabies-related viruses were screened successfully by hnRT-PCR and Southern blot hybridization. Of the 60 isolates, 93% (56 of 60) were positive by external PCR, while all isolates were detected by heminested PCR and Southern blot hybridization. We also report on a comparison of the sensitivity of the standard fluorescent-antibody test (FAT) for rabies antigen and that of hnRT-PCR for rabies viral RNA with degraded tissue infected with a genotype 1 virus. Results indicated that FAT failed to detect viral antigen in brain tissue that was incubated at 37 degrees C for greater than 72 h, while hnRT-PCR detected viral RNA in brain tissue that was incubated at 37 degrees C for 360 h.

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Selected References

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