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J Mol Diagn. 2008 Mar;10(2):135-41. doi: 10.2353/jmoldx.2008.070130. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Toward universal flavivirus identification by mass cataloging.

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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA.


Development of rapid and specific molecular diagnostics for flaviviruses remains an important global health challenge. Herein a platform technology using mass spectrometry that can be used for universal identification and genotyping of these viruses is described. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated by using it to correctly identify and serotype two strains of dengue virus. Predictive calculations show that the approach can be expected to be equally efficacious for the identification and epidemiological tracking of other flaviviruses including West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, and Yellow Fever. In the case of dengue at least, the method can also distinguish major subgroupings within each serotype. All process steps are amenable to high-throughput, automated implementation. The assay protocol is also compatible with miniature mass spectrometers currently in development, thereby allowing the assay to be brought to remote locations for rapid response to and tracking of outbreaks.

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