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J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Jul;49(7):2614-9. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02636-10. Epub 2011 May 18.

Design and performance of the CDC real-time reverse transcriptase PCR swine flu panel for detection of 2009 A (H1N1) pandemic influenza virus.

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Virus Surveillance and Diagnostic Branch, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Swine influenza viruses (SIV) have been shown to sporadically infect humans and are infrequently identified by the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after being received as unsubtypeable influenza A virus samples. Real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR) procedures for detection and characterization of North American lineage (N. Am) SIV were developed and implemented at CDC for rapid identification of specimens from cases of suspected infections with SIV. These procedures were utilized in April 2009 for detection of human cases of 2009 A (H1N1) pandemic (pdm) influenza virus infection. Based on genetic sequence data derived from the first two viruses investigated, the previously developed rRT-PCR procedures were optimized to create the CDC rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel for detection of the 2009 A (H1N1) pdm influenza virus. The analytical sensitivity of the CDC rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel was shown to be 5 copies of RNA per reaction and 10(-1.3 - -0.7) 50% infectious doses (ID(50)) per reaction for cultured viruses. Cross-reactivity was not observed when testing human clinical specimens or cultured viruses that were positive for human seasonal A (H1N1, H3N2) and B influenza viruses. The CDC rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel was distributed to public health laboratories in the United States and internationally from April 2009 until June 2010. The CDC rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel served as an effective tool for timely and specific detection of 2009 A (H1N1) pdm influenza viruses and facilitated subsequent public health response implementation.

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