Detection of Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, Hanta, and Sandfly Fever Viruses by Real-Time RT-PCR
The development of sensitive and specific nucleic acid diagnostic assays for viral pathogens is essential for proper medical intervention. This chapter describes four fluorescence-based PCR assays to detect the Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHFV), Andes (ANDV), Hantaan (HANV), and Sandfly Fever Sicilian (SFSV) Viruses. These assays are based on species-specific hydrolysis probes targeting the nucleocapsid protein gene for CCHFV and SFSV and the glycoprotein gene for ANDV and HANV. All four assays were optimized for LightCycler 2.0 (Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN) or Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device (R.A.P.I.D.; Idaho Technology Inc., Salt Lake City, UT). The assays were evaluated using the protocols described in the Subheading 3. The limits of detection were approximately 5, 2, 2, and 5 plaque-forming units (PFUs) for CCHFV, ANDV, HTNV, and SFSV assays, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the assays were evaluated with test panels that consisted of 20–60 known positive and 30–135 known negative samples, representing 7–34 genetically diverse bacterial and viral species. The CCHFV assay detected 59 out of the 60 positive samples and no false positives, resulting in 98.3% sensitivity at LOD of 5 PFU and 100% specificity. The ANDV and HTNV assays correctly identified all the positive samples with no false positive reactions; therefore, the sensitivity and specificity of these assays were determined to be 100% at LOD of 2 PFU. The SFSV assay missed three positive samples and cross-reacted with one of 48 negative samples, resulting in 95% sensitivity at LOD of 5 PFU and 98% specificity.
Key wordsCCHF virus Sandfly fever virus Andes virus Hantaan virus Fluorescence-based real-time assay
This work was supported by research program funds (Project No. 19499) managed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. We thank Katheryn Kenyon for reviewing the manuscript. The mention of materials or products in this article does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense or the United States government. The opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations contained herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Army.
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