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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2008 Sep;20(5):612-6.

Analytical validation of a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for Pan-American lineage H7 subtype Avian influenza viruses.

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  • 1Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


A real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for the identification of the H7 subtype in North American avian influenza viruses AIV was first reported in 2002; however, recent (AIVs) surveillance efforts in wild birds and H7 outbreaks in poultry demonstrated that the 2002 test did not detect all H7 AIVs present in North and South America. Therefore, a new test, the 2008 Pan-American H7 test, was developed by using recently available H7 nucleotide sequences. The analytical specificity of the new assay was characterized with an RNA panel composed of 19 H7 viruses from around the world and RNA from all hemagglutinin subtypes except H16. Specificity for North and South American lineage H7 viruses was observed. Assay limits of detection were determined to be between 10(3) and 10(4) gene copies per reaction with in vitro transcribed RNA, and 10(0.0) and 10(0.8) 50% egg infectious doses per reaction. The 2008 Pan-American H7 test also was shown to perform similarly to the 2002 test with specimens from chickens experimentally exposed to A/Chicken/BritishColumbia/314514-2/04 H7N3 highly pathogenic AIV. Furthermore, the 2008 test was able to detect 100% (n = 27) of the H7 AI, V isolates recovered from North American wild birds in a 2006-2007 sample set, (none of which were detected by the 2002 H7 test).

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