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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2004 Oct;99(6):633-8. Epub 2004 Nov 18.

Detection of Brazilian hantavirus by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction amplification of N gene in patients with hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome.

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Unidade Multidepartamental de Pesquisa em Virologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.


We report a nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for hantavirus using primers selected to match high homology regions of hantavirus genomes detected from the whole blood of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) patients from Brazil, also including the N gene nucleotide sequence of Araraquara virus. Hantavirus genomes were detected in eight out of nine blood samples from the HCPS patients by RT-PCR (88.9% positivity) and in all 9 blood samples (100% positivity) by nested-PCR. The eight amplicons obtained by RT-PCR (P1, P3-P9), including one obtained by nested-PCR (P-2) and not obtained by RT-PCR, were sequenced and showed high homology (94.8% to 99.1%) with the N gene of Araraquara hantavirus. Although the serologic method ELISA is the most appropriate test for HCPS diagnosis, the use of nested RT-PCR for hantavirus in Brazil would contribute to the diagnosis of acute hantavirus disease detecting viral genomes in patient specimens as well as initial genomic characterization of circulating hantaviruses.

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