Application of real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction to the detection the matrix, H5 and H7 genes of avian influenza viruses in field samples from South Korea
Animal, Plant and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency, 175 Anyangro, Manangu, Anyangsi, Gyeonggido 430-757, South Korea
Virology Journal 2013, 10:85 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-85Published: 14 March 2013
The rapid and accurate identification of the H5 and H7 subtypes of avian influenza (AI) virus is an important step for the control and eradication of highly pathogenic AI outbreaks and for the surveillance of AI viruses that have the potential to undergo changes in pathogenicity in poultry and wild birds. Currently, real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) is routinely used for the rapid detection of the H5 and H7 genes, but misidentification is frequent for emergent isolates and viruses isolated from diverse regions due to the high sequence variation among AI viruses.
In this study, an RRT-PCR method was tested for the detection of matrix, H5 and H7 genes from diverse subtypes of AI viruses and from field samples obtained through AI surveillance in South Korea over the last four years. Both RRT-PCR and conventional experiment (virus isolation using egg inoculation followed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) agreed on the virus-positive samples. And the comparison of the results with 174 clinical samples showed a high level of agreement without decreasing the specificity and sensitivity.
This assay could be useful tool for the rapid detection of AI using the field samples from domestic poultry and wild birds in South Korea, and continuous regional updates is needed to validate primer sets as the AI virus evolves.