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J Virol Methods. 2004 Sep 15;120(2):229-37.

Specific detection of Nipah virus using real-time RT-PCR (TaqMan).

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INSERM U.404, Institut Pasteur, CERVI, IFR 128, Biosciences, Lyon-Gerland, France.


Nipah and Hendra viruses belong to the novel Henipavirus genus of the Paramyxoviridae family. Its zoonotic circulation in bats and recent emergence in Malaysia with fatal consequences for humans that were in close contact with infected pigs, has made the reinforcement of epidemiological and clinical surveillance systems a priority. In this study, TaqMan RT-PCR of the Nipah nucleoprotein has been developed so that Nipah virus RNA in field specimens or laboratory material can be characterized rapidly and specifically and quantitated. The linearity of the standard curve allowed quantification of 10(3) to 10(9) RNA transcripts. The sensitivity of the test was close to 1 pfu. The kinetics of Nipah virus production in Vero cells was monitored by the determination of infectious virus particles in the supernatant fluid and by quantitation of the viral RNA. Approximately, 1000 RNA molecules were detected per virion, suggesting the presence of many non-infectious particles, similar to other RNA viruses. TaqMan real-time RT-PCR failed to detect Hendra virus DNA. Importantly, the method was able to detect virus despite a similar ratio in viremic sera from hamsters infected with Nipah virus. This standardized technique is sensitive and reliable and allows rapid detection and quantitation of Nipah RNA in both field and experimental materials used for the surveillance and specific diagnosis of Nipah virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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