Molecular diagnostic and genetic characterization of highly pathogenic viruses: application during Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus outbreaks in Eastern Europe and the Middle East

Institut Pasteur, Unit of Epidemiology and Pathophysiology of Oncogenic Viruses, Paris, France
Clinical Microbiology and Infection (Impact Factor: 4.58). 10/2012; 19(2). DOI: 10.1111/1469-0691.12075
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Several haemorrhagic fevers are caused by highly pathogenic viruses that must be handled in Biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) containment. These zoonotic infections have an important impact on public health and the development of a rapid and differential diagnosis in case of outbreak in risk areas represents a critical priority. We have demonstrated the potential of a DNA resequencing microarray (PathogenID v2.0) for this purpose. The microarray was first validated in vitro using supernatants of cells infected with prototype strains from five different families of BSL-4 viruses (e.g. families Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Filoviridae, Flaviviridae and Paramyxoviridae). RNA was amplified based on isothermal amplification by Phi29 polymerase before hybridization. We were able to detect and characterize Nipah virus and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) in the brains of experimentally infected animals. CCHFV was finally used as a paradigm for epidemics because of recent outbreaks in Turkey, Kosovo and Iran. Viral variants present in human sera were characterized by BLASTN analysis. Sensitivity was estimated to be 10(5) -10(6) PFU/mL of hybridized cDNA. Detection specificity was limited to viral sequences having ∼13-14% of global divergence with the tiled sequence, or stretches of ∼20 identical nucleotides. These results highlight the benefits of using the PathogenID v2.0 resequencing microarray to characterize geographical variants in the follow-up of haemorrhagic fever epidemics; to manage patients and protect communities; and in cases of bioterrorism.

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