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Open Access Detection of Sendai Virus and Pneumonia Virus of Mice by Use of Fluorogenic Nuclease Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction Analysis

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Sendai virus may induce acute respiratory tract disease in laboratory mice and is a common contaminant of biological materials. Pneumonia virus of mice (PVM) also infects the respiratory tract and, like Sendai virus, may induce a persistent wasting disease syndrome in immunodeficient mice. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays have proven useful for detection of Sendai virus and PVM in immunodeficient animals and contaminated biomaterials. Fluorogenic nuclease RT-PCR assays (fnRT-PCR) combine RT-PCR with an internal fluorogenic hybridization probe, thereby potentially enhancing specificity and eliminating post-PCR processing. Therefore, fnRT-PCR assays specific for Sendai virus and PVM were developed by targeting primer and probe sequences to unique regions of the Sendai virus nucleocapsid (NP) gene and the PVM attachment (G) gene, respectively. The Sendai virus and PVM fnRT-PCR assays detected only Sendai virus and PVM, respectively. Neither assay detected other viruses of the family Paramyxoviridae or other RNA viruses that naturally infect rodents. The fnRT-PCR assays detected as little as 10 fg of Sendai virus RNA and one picogram of PVM RNA, respectively, and the Sendai virus fnRT-PCR assay had comparable sensitivity when directly compared with the mouse antibody production test. The fnRT-PCR assays were also able to detect viral RNA in respiratory tract tissues and cage swipe specimens collected from experimentally inoculated C.B-17 severe combined immunodeficient mice, but did not detect viral RNA in age- and strain-matched mock-infected mice. In conclusion, these fnRT-PCR assays offer potentially high-throughput diagnostic assays to detect Sendai virus and PVM in immunodeficient mice, and to detect Sendai virus in contaminated biological materials.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University Animal Care, University of Arizona, 1127 E. Lowell Street, Tucson, Arizona 85721-0101 2: University Animal Care, University of Arizona, 1127 E. Lowell Street, Tucson, Arizona 85721-0101, Supported by Public Health Service grant R01 RR14072 from the National Center for Research Resources

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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