[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
A duplex real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was improved for simultaneous detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus and pandemic H1N1 (2009) influenza virus, which is suitable for early diagnosis of influenza-like patients and for epidemiological surveillance. The sensitivity of this duplex real-time RT-PCR assay was 0.02 TCID50 (50% tissue culture infective dose) for H5N1 and 0.2 TCID50 for the pandemic H1N1, which was the same as that of each single-target RT-PCR for pandemic H1N1 and even more sensitive for H5N1 with the same primers and probes. No cross reactivity of detecting other subtype influenza viruses or respiratory tract viruses was observed. Two hundred and thirty-six clinical specimens were tested by comparing with single real-time RT-PCR and result from the duplex assay was 100% consistent with the results of single real-time RT-PCR and sequence analysis.