A real-time RT-PCR assay was developed utilizing dual-labeled fluorescent probes binding to VP4 sequence that are specific to the classical (Cl), variant (V) and very virulent (vv) strains of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). The assay was highly sensitive and could detect as little as 3 × 10 2 to 3 × 10 3 copies of viral template. Viral genomic copy number could be accurately assayed over a broad range of 7–8 logs of viral genome. The variant sequence-specific probe was found to be highly specific in detecting isolates classified as variant A, D, E, G and GLS-5, and did not react with classical strains. A total of 130 field and experimental variant strain isolates were tested using this assay. The classical sequence-specific probe also demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity, and positively detected a total of 87 STC isolates, both field and experimental isolates, while differentiating between isolates that were variant and classical strains. The very virulent sequence-specific probe detected positively the Holland vvIBDV isolate and did not react with classical or variant strains. Rapid identification of viral strain is a primary concern to poultry flock health programs to ensure administered vaccines will protect against current strains of virus circulating in the flock. The ability to quantify virus concurrently is also of assistance in identifying the progression of disease outbreaks within the flock.
Journal of Virological Methods – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2005
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