In China, a novel reassortant influenza A (H7N9) virus, which has caused 435 cases of human infection, has recently emerged. Most cases of human infections with the H7N9 virus are known to be associated with a poultry farm and live-poultry markets. In this study, a one-step duplex real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) assay was developed for the simultaneous detection of the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of the H7N9 virus for effective surveillance and early diagnosis of cases from clinical samples collected from live-poultry markets or poultry farms. The detection limit of this assay was as low as 0.1 EID 50 of H7N9 viruses, which is similar to the detection limit of the real-time RT-PCR assay released by the Word Health Organization. The coefficients of variation (CVs) of both inter-assay and intra-assay reproducibility were less than 1.55 %, showing good reproducibility. No cross-reactivity was observed with RNA of other subtypes of influenza virus or other avian respiratory viruses. The assay can effectively detect H7N9 influenza virus RNA from multiple sources, including chickens, pigeons, ducks, humans, and the environment. Furthermore, the RRT-PCR assay was evaluated with more than 700 clinical samples collected from live-poultry markets and 120 experimentally infected chicken samples. Together, these results indicate that the duplex RRT-PCR assay is a specific, sensitive, and efficient diagnostic method for the epidemiological surveillance and diagnosis of H7N9 virus from different sources, particularly poultry samples.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2015
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