The Influenza Primer Design Resource: a new tool for translating influenza sequence data into effective diagnostics

Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Research Institute, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses (Impact Factor: 2.2). 02/2008; 2(1):23-31. DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2007.00031.x
Source: PubMed


Recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza and multiple occurrences of zoonotic infection and deaths in humans have sparked a dramatic increase in influenza research. In order to rapidly identify and help prevent future influenza outbreaks, numerous laboratories around the world are working to develop new nucleotide-based diagnostics for identifying and subtyping influenza viruses. While there are several databases that have been developed for manipulating the vast amount of influenza genetic data that have been produced, significant progress can still be made in developing tools for translating the genetic data into effective diagnostics.
The Influenza Primer Design Resource (IPDR) is the combination of a comprehensive database of influenza nucleotide sequences and a web interface that provides several important tools that aid in the development of oligonucleotides that may be used to develop better diagnostics. IPDR's database can be searched using a variety of criteria, allowing the user to align the subset of influenza sequences that they are interested in. In addition, IPDR reports a consensus sequence for the alignment along with sequence polymorphism information, a summary of most published primers and probes that match the consensus sequence, and a Primer3 analysis of potential primers and probes that could be used for amplifying the sequence subset.
The IPDR is a unique combination of bioinformatics tools that will greatly aid researchers in translating influenza genetic data into diagnostics, which can effectively identify and subtype influenza strains. The website is freely available at

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