Detection of human bocavirus in respiratory, fecal, and blood samples by real-time PCR

Sarah J Tozer, Stephen B Lambert, David M Whiley, Seweryn Bialasiewicz, Michael J Lyon, Michael D Nissen, Theo P Sloots
Journal of Medical Virology 2009, 81 (3): 488-93
Human bocavirus (HBoV) has been detected worldwide in respiratory samples. Two real-time PCR assays, targeting the non-structural protein (NP-1) and viral protein (VP-1) genes, were designed and validated to detect HBoV in patients with respiratory disease, gastroenteritis, or systemic illness. Sensitivity of the NP-1 and VP-1 assays were equal to the conventional PCR assay previously described by Allander et al. [2005: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102: 12891-12896] being 100%, and giving specificity of 94% and 93%, respectively. There was no cross-reaction identified with unrelated respiratory agents, or to human DNA. The limits of detection were 10 copies of genomic DNA equivalents per reaction for both assays. The assays were used to screen three different sample populations, combined nose, and throat swabs (n = 96) from children with acute respiratory disease, fecal samples (n = 375) from adults, and children with gastroenteritis and whole blood (n = 229) collected from 31 immunocompromised children taken over an 18-month period. In total 17 (18%) respiratory samples and 18 (4.8%) fecal samples were identified as having HBoV present. Of the pediatric whole blood specimens investigated, HBoV was detected in six (2.6%) samples from four patients. In summary, two real-time PCR assays targeting different genes were designed and validated for use as screening methods for the detection of HBoV. HBoV was found in three different specimen types: parent-collected combined nose-throat swabs, fecal samples collected from symptomatic individuals and whole blood from immunocompromised children.

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