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Comparison of two real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays for the detection of Equine arteritis virus nucleic acid in equine semen and tissue culture fluid



Comparison of two real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays for the detection of Equine arteritis virus nucleic acid in equine semen and tissue culture fluid



Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 20(2): 147-155



Two previously developed TaqMan fluorogenic probe-based 1-tube real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) assays (T1 and T2) were compared and validated for the detection of Equine arteritis virus (EAV) nucleic acid in equine semen and tissue culture fluid (TCF). The specificity and sensitivity of these 2 molecular-based assays were compared to traditional virus isolation (VI) in cell culture. The T1 real-time RT-PCR had a higher sensitivity (93.4%) than the T2 real-time RT-PCR (42.6%) for detection of EAV RNA in semen. However, the T1 real-time RT-PCR was less sensitive (93.4%) than the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)-prescribed VI test (gold standard). The sensitivity of both PCR assays was high (100.0% [T1] and 95.2% [T2]) for detecting EAV RNA in TCF. In light of the discrepancy in sensitivity between either real-time RT-PCR assay and VI, semen that is negative for EAV nucleic acid by real-time RT-PCR that is from an EAV-seropositive stallion should be confirmed free of virus by VI. Similarly, the presence of EAV in TCF samples that are VI-positive but real-time RT-PCR-negative should be confirmed in a 1-way neutralization test using anti-EAV equine serum or by fluorescent antibody test using monoclonal antibodies to EAV. If the viral isolate is not identified as EAV, such samples should be tested for other equine viral pathogens. The results of this study underscore the importance of comparative evaluation and validation of real-time RT-PCR assays prior to their recommended use in a diagnostic setting for the detection and identification of specific infectious agents.

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Accession: 052250295

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PMID: 18319426

DOI: 10.1177/104063870802000202


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