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J Virol Methods. 2000 Jul;88(1):15-24.

A comprehensive systematic approach to identification of influenza A virus genotype using RT-PCR and RFLP.

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The Division of Viral Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


Amplification of influenza A virus gene segments by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) can be combined with enzymatic digestion to reveal unique restriction fragment length polymorphisms specific for H1N1 and H3N2 subtype viruses. We have used the method to provide a rapid, specific and reproducible identification of the genotype of high-growth influenza reassortants derived from A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8). Digestion of the gene segments amplified from wild-type viruses, PR8 and reassortants at sites unique to either the wild-type strain or to PR8 provided positive, unambiguous identification of the origin of each of the internal genes, and distinguished the internal genes of both H1N1 and H3N2 strains from those of PR8. This method has also permitted us to quickly confirm that reassorting has occurred and to optimize the selection of reassortant clones with maximum number of PR8 internal genes. Since the method can detect 1-10% of a second strain in a mixed population, the method can also be used to detect samples containing more than one viral subtype and to assess the purity of influenza viruses used for manufacturing vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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