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Food Environ Virol. 2012 Mar;4(1):21-5. doi: 10.1007/s12560-011-9074-5. Epub 2011 Dec 17.

Discrimination of infectious hepatitis A viruses by propidium monoazide real-time RT-PCR.

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Departamento de Biotecnología, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos, Avda. Agustín Escardino, 7. Paterna, Valencia, Spain.


The discrimination of infectious and inactivated viruses remains a key obstacle when using quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) to quantify enteric viruses. In this study, propidium monoazide (PMA) and RNase pretreatments were evaluated for the detection and quantification of infectious hepatitis A virus (HAV). For thermally inactivated HAV, PMA treatment was more effective than RNase treatment for differentiating infectious and inactivated viruses, with HAV titers reduced by more than 2.4 log(10) units. Results showed that combining 50 μM of PMA and RT-qPCR selectively quantify infectious HAV in media suspensions. Therefore, PMA treatment previous to RT-qPCR detection is a promising alternative to assess HAV infectivity.

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