J Virol Methods. 2004 Jun 1;118(1):49-59.

A simple and rapid single-step multiplex RT-PCR to detect Norovirus, Astrovirus and Adenovirus in clinical stool samples.

Rohayem J, Berger S, Juretzek T, Herchenröder O, Mogel M, Poppe M, Henker J, Rethwilm A.
A single-step multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay that detects and identifies Norovirus, Astrovirus and Adenovirus in clinical stool samples is described. Four hundred sixty stool samples were tested from patients with non-rotavirus acute gastroenteritis, that were either stored at -80 degrees C and tested retrospectively, or tested immediately after viral nucleic acid extraction in a prospective manner, including outbreaks of gastroenteritis that occurred in Germany during the winter of 2003. The multiplex RT-PCR was validated against simplex RT-PCR with published primers for Norovirus (JV12/JV13 and p289/p290) and Astrovirus (Mon340/348), and against simplex PCR for Adenovirus. In both retrospective and prospective settings, the multiplex RT-PCR was equally sensitive and specific in detecting non-rotavirus infections compared with simplex RT-PCR/PCR. The specificity of the multiplex RT-PCR was assessed by sequencing of the amplicons that showed high nucleotide identities to Norovirus genogroup I/1, I/4, II/2, or II/4 clades, as well as to Astrovirus serotypes 1, 2, 4, or 8. The multiplex RT-PCR was also more sensitive than Astrovirus and Norovirus antigen enzyme immunoassays (IDEIA, Dako), as well as Astrovirus isolation in cell culture. This novel multiplex RT-PCR is an attractive technique for the rapid, specific, and cost-effective laboratory diagnosis of non-rotavirus acute gastroenteritis.
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