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Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Jan 15;38(2):293-6. Epub 2003 Dec 18.

Sensitive and quantitative detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection by real-time nested polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Division of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, Taiwan.


A quantitative, real-time, nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, combining the high sensitivity of nested PCR with time-saving real-time instrumentation, was developed for large-scale screening for severe acute coronavirus (SARS) coronavirus. Forty-six clinical specimens were analyzed by this method, and results were compared with those obtained by conventional, single-round, real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) performed in parallel. Of the 17 positive results, 2 identified by our method were not detected by single-round, real-time RT-PCR, which suggests that real-time nested PCR has the potential for increased sensitivity, leading to earlier detection of SARS.

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