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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Jun;18(6):1164-9.

Development of multiplex rt-PCR assays for rapid detection and subtyping of influenza type A viruses from clinical specimens.

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College of Medicine and Medical Research Institute, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.


We developed multiplex RT-PCR assays that can detect and identify 12 hemagglutinin (H1-H12) and 9 neuraminidase (N1-N9) subtypes that are commonly isolated from avian, swine, and human influenza A viruses. RT-PCR products with unique sizes characteristic of each subtype were amplified by multiplex RT-PCRs, and sequence analysis of each amplicon was demonstrated to be specific for each subtype with 24 reference viruses. The specificity was demonstrated further with DNA or cDNA templates from 7 viruses, 5 bacteria, and 50 influenza A virus negative specimens. Furthermore, the assays could detect and subtype up to 105 dilution of each of the reference viruses that had an original infectivity titer of 106 EID50/ml. Of 188 virus isolates, the multiplex RT-PCR results agreed completely with individual RT-PCR subtyping results and with results obtained from virus isolations. Furthermore, the multiplex RT-PCR methods efficiently detected mixed infections with at least two different subtypes of influenza viruses in one host. Therefore, these methods could facilitate rapid and accurate subtyping of influenza A viruses directly from field specimens.

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