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J Virol Methods. 2001 Sep;97(1-2):59-66.

Direct diagnosis of human respiratory coronaviruses 229E and OC43 by the polymerase chain reaction.

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Laboratory of Human and Molecular Virology, University Hopital, av. Georges Clemenceau, 14 033, Caen, France.


An RT-PCR-hybridization was developed that amplified genetic material from the M protein gene of HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43. The analytic sensitivity of these original primers were compared with primers defined in the N gene and described previously. The results show that 0.05 TCID50 of HCoV-229E and 0.01 TCID50 of HCoV-OC43 can be detected by this molecular method using the original method. Detection of HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 in clinical specimens is possible using this method: 348 respiratory specimens (202 sputum and 146 nasal aspirates) were tested with this RT-PCR-hybridization and 12 human coronavirus are detected (3%). The method could provide a useful tool for demonstrating the role of human coronavirus in infections of the respiratory tract.

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