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J Vis Exp. 2011 Apr 27;(50). pii: 2536. doi: 10.3791/2536.

Using a pan-viral microarray assay (Virochip) to screen clinical samples for viral pathogens.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

The diagnosis of viral causes of many infectious diseases is difficult due to the inherent sequence diversity of viruses as well as the ongoing emergence of novel viral pathogens, such as SARS coronavirus and 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, that are not detectable by traditional methods. To address these challenges, we have previously developed and validated a pan-viral microarray platform called the Virochip with the capacity to detect all known viruses as well as novel variants on the basis of conserved sequence homology. Using the Virochip, we have identified the full spectrum of viruses associated with respiratory infections, including cases of unexplained critical illness in hospitalized patients, with a sensitivity equivalent to or superior to conventional clinical testing. The Virochip has also been used to identify novel viruses, including the SARS coronavirus, a novel rhinovirus clade, XMRV (a retrovirus linked to prostate cancer), avian bornavirus (the cause of a wasting disease in parrots), and a novel cardiovirus in children with respiratory and diarrheal illness. The current version of the Virochip has been ported to an Agilent microarray platform and consists of ~36,000 probes derived from over ~1,500 viruses in GenBank as of December of 2009. Here we demonstrate the steps involved in processing a Virochip assay from start to finish (~24 hour turnaround time), including sample nucleic acid extraction, PCR amplification using random primers, fluorescent dye incorporation, and microarray hybridization, scanning, and analysis.

PMID:
21559002
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3169278
Free PMC Article
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