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J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Apr;51(4):1089-93. doi: 10.1128/JCM.03297-12. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Quantitative real-time PCR assay panel for detection and type-specific identification of epidemic respiratory human adenoviruses.

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  • 1Gastroenteritis and Respiratory Viruses Laboratory Branch, Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

Outbreaks of human adenovirus (HAdV) acute respiratory illness (ARI) have been well documented among civilians and unvaccinated military recruits. Among the 7 recognized HAdV species (A to G), species B (particularly serotypes 3, 7, 11, 14, and 21) and E (serotype 4) have more often been associated with epidemic ARI. Rapid detection and type-specific identification of these viruses would enhance outbreak response and help guide prevention and control measures. To this end, we developed type-specific real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays for HAdV types 3, 4, 7, 11, 14, 16, and 21 targeting the HAdV hexon gene. All type-specific qPCR assays reproducibly detected as few as 10 copies/reaction of quantified hexon recombinant plasmids with a linear dynamic range of 8 log units (10(1) to 10(8) copies); in contrast, a generic qPCR assay that detects all HAdV types run concurrently detected between 10 and 100 copies/reaction, depending on the virus type. No nonspecific amplifications were observed with concentrated nucleic acid from 51 HAdV prototype strains or other common respiratory pathogens. All members of a panel of 137 previously typed HAdV field isolates and positive clinical specimens were correctly characterized by the type-specific qPCR assays; two different HAdV types were detected in three of the clinical specimens and confirmed by amplicon sequencing. The qPCR assays permit sensitive, specific, and quantitative detection and identification of seven clinically important respiratory HAdVs and should provide a convenient adjunct to classical typing methods for a rapid response to HAdV outbreaks.

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