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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2010 May;8(5):517-27. doi: 10.1586/eri.10.24.

Methods for molecular surveillance of influenza.

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  • 1Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Molecular-based techniques for detecting influenza viruses have become an integral component of human and animal surveillance programs in the last two decades. The recent pandemic of the swine-origin influenza A virus (H1N1) and the continuing circulation of highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H5N1) further stress the need for rapid and accurate identification and subtyping of influenza viruses for surveillance, outbreak management, diagnosis and treatment. There has been remarkable progress on the detection and molecular characterization of influenza virus infections in clinical, mammalian, domestic poultry and wild bird samples in recent years. The application of these techniques, including reverse transcriptase-PCR, real-time PCR, microarrays and other nucleic acid sequencing-based amplifications, have greatly enhanced the capability for surveillance and characterization of influenza viruses.

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