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J Infect Dis. 1994 Oct;170(4):1013-7.

Detection of Muerto Canyon virus RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

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Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131.


To determine if Muerto Canyon Virus (MCV) RNA is present in the peripheral blood of patients with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for MCV RNA was used on blood samples from 20 seropositive case-patients. RNA was prepared from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) or blood clot (or both) from 19 and from plasma from 11 case-patients. All 12 blood clot, all 13 PBMC, and 8 of 11 plasma preparations produced an MCV amplification product after RT-PCR with primers from the G2 gene. All of 5 PBMC RNA preparations tested were positive using unnested primers in S segment. Nucleotide sequences were determined for 16 G2 amplimers and 4 S segment amplimers, verifying that unique MCV cDNA sequences were amplified. Viral RNA became undetectable in 5 of 7 convalescent samples tested but was present up to day 23 of illness in 2 case-patients.

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