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A Multiplex Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Method for the Detection of Foodborne Viruses

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A multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was developed for the simultaneous detection of the human enteroviruses, hepatitis A virus (HAV) and Norwalk virus (NV). Poliovirus type 1 (PV1) was chosen as a model for the human enterovirus group. Three different sets of primers were used to produce three size-specific amplicons of 435 bp, 270 bp, and 192 bp for PV1, NV, and HAV, respectively. RT-PCR products were separated by agarose gel electrophoresis, and amplicon identity was confirmed by Southern transfer followed by DNA hybridization using nonradioactive, digoxigenin-labeled internal probes. When tested on mixed, purified virus suspensions, the multiplex method achieved detection limits of ≤1 infectious unit (PV1 and HAV) or RT-PCR-amplifiable unit (NV) for all viruses. With further streamlining efforts such as single tube amplification and liquid hybridization, multiplex PCR offers advantages over cell culture methodology and monoplex PCR because it allows for rapid and cost-effective detection of several human enteric viruses in a single reaction tube.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7624, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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