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Mol Cell Probes. 1997 Apr;11(2):143-7.

The potential of 5' nuclease PCR for detecting a single-base polymorphism in Orthopoxvirus.

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Diagnostic Systems Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Ft. Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


A fluorogenic 5' nuclease PCR assay was evaluated for its ability to specifically detect and differentiate DNA of two Orthopoxvirus species. A pair of consensus primers that target a DNA segment of the Orthopoxvirus haemagglutinin gene, and two oligonucleotide probes; each labelled with a different fluorescent reporter dye and the same quencher dye, were used in a single-tube assay. The assay is based on the 5'-->3' nuclease activity of AmpliTaq DNA polymerase that cleaves a fluorescein-labelled hybridized probe. Probe cleavage generates specific fluorescent signals whose intensity can be quantified by fluorometry. After evaluating the effects of various annealing temperatures and probe concentrations and normalizing the emission intensities of the reporter dyes, it was possible to detect and differentiate monkeypox and vaccinia virus DNAs on the basis of a single-base polymorphism. The sensitivity of the 5' nuclease PCR assay is comparable to the sensitivity of ethidium bromide-stained gels, but the assay provides higher specificity and virtually eliminates the need for laborious post-PCR processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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