Development of real time RT-PCR assays for detection of type A influenza virus and for subtyping of avian H5 and H7 hemagglutinin subtypes.
ABSTRACT Rapid detection and subtyping of H5 and H7 subtypes influenza A viruses are important for disease control in poultry and potential transmission to humans. Currently, virus isolation and subsequent HA and NA subtyping constitute the standard for avian influenza viruses detection and subtype identification. These methods are highly accurate and sensitive but are also laborious and time-consuming. Reverse transcription PCR and real time reverse transcription PCR assays, suitable tests for rapid detection, have previously been used for the specific diagnosis of H5 and H7 viruses, however, at present, no primer and probe sets are available for the identification of all H5 and H7 strains. Herein, we have developed specific and sensitive real time reverse transcription PCR assays for the detection of type A influenza virus and for subtyping of avian H5 and H7 hemagglutinin subtypes and we have also compared these molecular assays with viral isolation in terms of sensitivity. Our results demonstrate that the real time reverse transcription PCR assays are more sensitive, specific, less expensive compared to viral isolation. In conclusion, molecular assays could represent an useful tool for rapid detection and screening of H5 and H7 isolates during influenza A virus outbreaks alternatively to viral isolation.
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ABSTRACT: Only viruses of the Influenzavirus A genus have been isolated from birds and termed avian influenza [AI] viruses, but viruses with all 16 haemagglutinin [H1-H16] and all 9 neuraminidase [N1-N9] influenza A subtypes in the majority of possible combinations have been isolated from avian species. Influenza A viruses infecting poultry can be divided into two groups. The very virulent viruses causing highly pathogenic avian influenza [HPAI], with flock mortality as high as 100%. These viruses have been restricted to subtypes H5 and H7, although not all H5 and H7 viruses cause HPAI. All other viruses cause a milder, primarily respiratory, disease [LPAI], unless exacerbated. Until recently HPAI viruses were rarely isolated from wild birds, but for LPAI viruses extremely high isolation rates have been recorded in surveillance studies, with overall figures of about 11% for ducks and geese and around 2% for all other species. Influenza viruses may infect all types of domestic or captive birds in all areas of the world, the frequency with which primary infections occur in any type of bird usually depending on the degree of contact there is with feral birds. Secondary spread is usually associated with human involvement, either by bird or bird product movement or by transferring infective faeces from infected to susceptible birds, but potentially wild birds could be involved. In recent years there have been costly outbreaks of HPAI in poultry in Italy, The Netherlands and Canada and in each millions of birds were slaughtered to bring the outbreaks under control. Since the 1990s AI infections due to two subtypes have been widespread in poultry across a large area of the World. LPAI H9N2 appears to have spread across the whole of Asia in that time and has become endemic in poultry in many of the affected countries. However, these outbreaks have tended to have been overshadowed by the H5N1 HPAI virus, initially isolated in China, that has now spread in poultry and/or wild birds throughout Asia and into Europe and Africa, resulting in the death or culling of hundreds of millions of poultry and posing a significant zoonosis threat.Vaccine 08/2007; 25(30):5637-44. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: H5N1 influenza A virus causes a rapidly fatal systemic disease in domestic poultry and spreads directly from poultry to mammalian species such as leopards, tigers and humans. The aim of this study was to develop a multiplex real-time RT-PCR for rapid detection of H5N1 influenza A virus. The selected primers and various labeled TaqMan MGB reporter probes corresponding to M, H5 and N1 were used in a single step multiplex real-time RT-PCR to simultaneously detect triple fluorescent signals. In order to validate the method, 75 clinical specimens infected with H5N1 isolated from both poultry and mammals, as well as various specimens of other subtypes and RNA from other viral pathogens of poultry and human were tested. The results showed that the multiplex real-time RT-PCR assays can be applied to detect virus suspensions of H5N1 influenza A virus from a wide host range and demonstrated the sensitivity of the assay amounted to approximately 10(2)-10(3)copies/mul. In conclusion, the highlights of this particular method lie in its rapidity, specificity and sensitivity thus rendering it feasible and effective for large-scale screening at times of H5N1 influenza A virus outbreaks.Journal of Virological Methods 03/2006; 131(2):143-7. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The deduced amino acid sequence at the hemagglutinin (HA) cleavage site of 76 avian influenza (AI) viruses, subtypes H5 and H7, was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and cycle sequencing techniques to assess pathogenicity. Eighteen of the 76 viruses were isolated in 1993 and 1994 from various sources in the United States. In addition, 34 H5 (4 highly pathogenic [HP] and 30 non-highly pathogenic [non-HP]) and 24 H7 (3 HP and 21 non-HP) repository viruses, isolated between 1927 and 1992, were sequenced and the sequences compared to those in recent isolates. All repository HP H5 and H7 viruses studied had multiple basic amino acids adjacent to the HA cleavage site and most had basic amino acids in excess of the proposed minimum motif B-X-B-R (B = basic amino acids arginine or lysine, X = nonbasic amino acid, R = arginine) that has been associated with high pathogenicity. Of the non-HP viruses studied, 35 of 38 for H5 and 30 of 31 for H7 conformed to the motif B-X-X-R and B-X-R, respectively. Two non-HP H5 viruses had the motif X-X-X-R at the cleavage site and a third had the motif B-X-X-K (K = basic amino acid lysine). One non-HP H7 (A/Pekin robin/CA/30412-5/94) had four basic amino acids (K-R-R-R) adjacent to the cleavage site. Although the Pekin robin isolate did not produce disease in chickens under the conditions of the study it did have the amino acid sequence compatible with that in HP AI viruses and, therefore, is considered potentially HP. This is the first account of an H7 virus that is non-HP in chickens but meets the molecular criterion to be classified as HP.Avian Diseases 40(2):425-37. · 1.73 Impact Factor