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Virus Res. 1991 Jul;20(2):159-79.

Detection and identification of vaccine-related polioviruses by the polymerase chain reaction.

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


We have used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to obtain sensitive detection and identification of poliovirus RNA genomes. Primer pairs were designed to permit identification of each Sabin poliovaccine strain by the electrophoretic mobilities of the amplified DNA products (Sabin 1: 97 bp; Sabin 2: 71 bp; Sabin 3: 44 bp). The compositions of samples containing mixtures of vaccine strains could be readily determined by PCR. When the amplified products were visualized by ethidium bromide fluorescence, as few as 250 genomic copies in the original sample could be detected. When PCR was used in combination with strain-specific 32P-labeled oligonucleotide probes, the limit of detection was less than or equal to 2.5 poliovirus genomes, exceeding the sensitivity of poliovirus isolation in cell culture by at least 100-fold. PCR amplifications may be performed on virion RNAs extracted directly from clinical specimens, potentially eliminating the requirement for virus isolation in routine identifications while yielding reliable results within 8 h.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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