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J Virol Methods. 2005 Dec;130(1-2):36-44. Epub 2005 Aug 1.

Validation of a real-time RT-PCR assay for sensitive and specific detection of classical swine fever.

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Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Boddenblick 5a, D-17493 Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany.


A fully validated, ready-to-use, real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, multiplexed for simultaneous detection of an internal control, for the simple and rapid diagnosis of classical swine fever (CSF) was developed. Primers and FAM-labeled TaqMan-probes specific for classical swine fever virus (CSFV) were selected from the consensus sequence of the 5' non-translated region (5' NTR) of 78 different CSFV strains. For determining analytical sensitivity, an in vitro transcript (T7-PC3alf) of the 5' NTR was constructed and tested. In addition, the T7-PC3alf transcript was further used as a positive control and a standard for quantitation of CSFV genome copies. A second heterologous in vitro transcript based on a specific primer-probe HEX-system was designed as an internal positive control for the RNA isolation step and RT-PCR. By using limited primer concentrations for the internal control, no adverse effects on the sensitivity of the CSF-system could be observed, and the newly designed duplex real-time RT-PCR proved to have a sensitivity of approximately eight copies. The primer-probe combination selected was strictly CSFV-specific and no amplification was observed in all non-CSFV pestiviruses tested.

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