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J Virol Methods. 2006 Sep;136(1-2):38-43. Epub 2006 May 9.

Amplification of the entire genome of influenza A virus H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Chung Shan Medical University (CSMU), 110, Sec. No. 1, Chien-Kuo N. Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan, Republic of China.


This study describes the development of a simple RT-PCR method to amplify the whole genome of the influenza A virus based on the amplification of full-length gene segments. Primers were designed based on the conserved regions of both the 5'-end and the 3'-end of each gene segment. After optimizing the duration and temperature of denaturing, annealing, and extension, these primers could amplify all of the full-length gene segments. To test the accuracy of the method, all amplicons were subjected to DNA sequencing with an autosequencer. Eighteen strains of influenza A virus which belonged to H1N1 or H3N2 subtypes were tested. All eight segments of both subtypes were successfully amplified in all tested strains. Using a newly developed reverse-transcriptase (RT), primers and PCR running conditions, this study established a protocol to amplify the entire genome of the influenza A virus. This method provides a tool which can be used for the amplification of all genes of the H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes of influenza A virus prior to analysis of their sequences, and to construct expression plasmids for further study.

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