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J Virol Methods. 1999 Apr;79(1):33-40.

Development of a fluorogenic polymerase chain reaction assay (TaqMan) for the detection and quantitation of varicella zoster virus.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, St Bartholomew's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK.


A TaqMan based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for the detection and quantitation of varicella zoster virus (VZV). This method enables simple, reproducible, sensitive and specific detection and quantification of VZV. The TaqMan assay was able to detect four copies of VZV and did not cross-react with other herpesviruses DNA. The assay has several advantages over conventional PCR. First, in the TaqMan assay there is no need for gel electrophoresis and contact with hazardous chemicals. Second, the method is rapid allowing the analysis of 92 samples within minutes after completion of PCR. Finally, the incorporation of a specific probe into the PCR reaction enhances the sensitivity and specificity of the method compared with conventional PCR. The TaqMan system could, therefore, be a useful tool for the epidemiological and diagnostic investigation of VZV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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