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Virus Res. 1992 Aug;24(3):277-96.

Genotype-specific in vitro amplification of sequences of the wild type 3 polioviruses from Mexico and Guatemala.

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Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


The extensive nucleotide sequence heterogeneity among independent genotypes of wild polioviruses permits the systematic design of genotype-specific molecular reagents. We have prepared two sets of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer pairs specific for the genotype of wild poliovirus type 3 recently endemic to Mexico and Guatemala. Nucleotide sequences of a representative wild type 3 virus isolated in Mexico in 1989 differed from the corresponding Sabin 3 (Leon 12 a1b) sequences at 167 of 900 positions within the VP1 region. From the sequence data, wild virus-specific primer pairs were designed to complement regions of high mismatch (greater than 33%) with Sabin 3 templates. Primer binding sites were spaced along the genome so that the predicted amplification products (142 bp and 163 bp) could be easily resolved electrophoretically from the products generated with our Sabin strain-specific primers (Sabin 1: 97 bp; Sabin 2: 71 bp; Sabin 3: 53 bp). RNAs of all wild type 3 poliovirus isolates from Mexico and Guatemala obtained over a 13-year period (1977-1990) served as efficient templates for amplification of the 142-bp and 163-bp products. Genomic templates derived from vaccine-related polioviruses and most heterologous wild polioviruses were inactive under equivalent reaction conditions. Amplifications generating a 114-bp product with a broadly reacting primer pair, matching highly conserved sequences in the 5'-noncoding region, provided a positive control for the presence in samples of poliovirus (or enterovirus) RNAs. Selective amplification of wild Mexico-Guatemala type 3 poliovirus sequences was obtained with either primer set in reactions containing large stoichiometric excesses (up to 10(6)-fold) of vaccine-related RNAs. We have used wild genotype-specific PCR primer sets to facilitate identification of wild polioviruses present in both clinical and environmental samples.

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