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J Med Virol. 1997 Dec;53(4):366-71.

Improved detection of respiratory syncytial virus in nasal aspirates by seminested RT-PCR.

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Institute of Virology, University of Vienna, Austria.


A seminested RT-PCR for amplification of Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-RNA in nasal aspirates has been developed and used to test nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs) from 132 infants hospitalized with acute respiratory tract infections during winter epidemics. The results were compared with those obtained by virus isolation in tissue culture and antigen detection with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Ag-ELISA). RSV-RNA was detected by seminested RT-PCR in 57 of the 59 samples that were positive by virus isolation and/or ELISA, as well as in 25 of 73 samples negative by virus isolation and ELISA. Eighteen of these 25 samples were obtained from children older than one year of age, 17 of whom were experiencing reinfection, as indicated by the presence of preexisting serum RSV-IgG antibodies. These results indicate that seminested RT-PCR is more sensitive than conventional methods for the detection of RSV in patients experiencing reinfections and suggest that this assay might also be useful for rapid diagnosis of RSV infections in older people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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