Development of real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assays to detect and serotype dengue viruses

Li-Jung Chien, Tsai-Ling Liao, Pei-Yun Shu, Jyh-Hsiung Huang, Duane J Gubler, Gwong-Jen J Chang
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2006, 44 (4): 1295-304
Serotyping dengue virus (DENV) from suspect human specimens is crucial for developing sound epidemiological control measurements early in the transmission season and for effective patient management. We modified DENV consensus D1 (mD1) and serotype-specific TS2 (mTS2) and redesigned serotype-specific TS1 (rTS1) and TS4 (rTS4) as described previously in the conventional capsid and premembrane gene (C-prM) protocol (R. S. Lanciotti, C. H. Calisher, D. J. Gubler, G.-J. Chang, A. V. Vorndam, J. Clin. Microbiol. 30:545-551, 1992). In addition, we designed two new sets of amplimers and probes, located at nonstructural protein 5 (NS5) and the 3' noncoding region (3'NC) of DENV. The NS5 protocol utilizes two flaviviral consensus outer amplimers (mFU1 and CFD2) and four dengue virus serotype-specific TaqMan fluorogenic probes. The 3'NC protocol uses two DENV consensus amplimers, DC10418 and CDC10564. The conventional gel-based, heminested detection method was adapted for the C-prM protocol for detecting and serotyping dengue viruses. In addition, we developed the real-time SYBR green I and postamplification melting temperature curve analysis for the mD1/TS and 3'NC protocols using identical amplification conditions. The NS5 amplimer/probe set was formulated as a one-tube, multiplex, real-time reverse transcriptase PCR for serotype identification. Three sets of amplimers and probes were verified for their specificity in tests with yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, and West Nile viruses; optimized against 109 DENV strains; and validated for detection of the virus in sera from two different panels of acute-phase human dengue serum specimens and one panel of virus isolates from dengue patients' serum specimens. Clinical evaluation by two separate laboratories indicated that the C-prM was more sensitive (100%) than the NS5 (91%) or the 3'NC (91%) protocol.

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