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J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Sep;42(9):4072-6.

Rapid detection and identification of human adenovirus species by adenoplex, a multiplex PCR-enzyme hybridization assay.

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  • 1Prodesse, Inc., Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA.


Human adenoviruses (AdV) have been implicated in a wide variety of diseases and are ubiquitous in populations worldwide. These agents are of concern particularly in immunocompromised patients, children, and military recruits, resulting in severe disease or death. Clinical diagnosis of AdV is usually achieved through routine viral cell culture, which can take weeks for results. Immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based techniques are more timely but lack sensitivity. The ability to distinguish between the six different AdV species (A to F) is diagnostically relevant, as infections with specific AdV species are often associated with unique clinical outcomes and epidemiological features. Therefore, we developed a multiplex PCR-enzyme hybridization assay, the Adenoplex, using primers to the fiber gene that can simultaneously detect all six AdV species A through F in a single test. The limit of detection (LOD) based on the viral 50% tissue culture infective dose/ml for AdV A, B, C, D, E, and F was 10(-2), 10(-1), 10(-1), 10(-2), 10(-1), and 10(-2), respectively. Similarly, the LOD for the six DNA controls ranged from 10(2) to 10(3) copies/ml. Twelve common respiratory pathogens were tested with the Adenoplex, and no cross-reactivity was observed. We also validated our assay using clinical specimens spiked with different concentrations of AdV strains of each species type and tested by multiplex PCR and culture. The results demonstrated an overall sensitivity and specificity of Adenoplex of 100%. This assay can be completed in as few as 5 h and provides a rapid, specific, and sensitive method to detect and subtype AdV species A through F.

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