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J Clin Virol. 2006 Jan;35(1):81-3. Epub 2005 Jul 5.

Sequence variation can affect the performance of minor groove binder TaqMan probes in viral diagnostic assays.

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Clinical Virology Research Unit, Sir Albert Sakzewski Virus Research Centre, Royal Children's Hospital & Health Service District, Herston Road, Herston, Qld 4029, Australia.


A minor groove binder (MGB) TaqMan real-time PCR assay was developed for the detection of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in clinical specimens. Upon evaluation of the assay, notable differences were observed in the overall fluorescent response obtained from RSV positive specimens, with some linear amplification curves deviating only slightly from baseline fluorescence. Sequencing of the probes targets in these RSV strains revealed single base mismatches with the MGB TaqMan probe. Overall, these results highlight the usefulness of MGB TaqMan probes for the detection of mismatches, but suggest that MGB Taqman probes have limitations for routine screening for uncharacterised viral strains.

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