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A novel duplex TaqMan probe-based real-time RT-qPCR for detecting and differentiating classical and variant porcine epidemic diarrhea viruses

Su, Yunfang, Liu, Yunchao, Chen, Yumei, Xing, Guangxu, Hao, Huifang, Wei, Qiang, Liang, Yue, Xie, Weitao, Li, Dongliang, Huang, Huimin, Deng, Ruiguang, Zhang, Gaiping
Molecular and cellular probes 2017
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, diarrhea, genes, genotype, mixed infection, pathogens, piglets, plasmids, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, viral load, China
Two different genotypes of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), the classical and variant strains, are classified by multiple insertions and deletions in their S genes. It is critical to detect and differentiate two genotypes in the pork industry to prevent PEDV outbreaks. In the present study, a novel duplex TaqMan RT-PCR was developed for detecting and differentiating PEDV strains in China. There was no cross-amplification between the two probes when using standard recombinant plasmids, and the specificity was further confirmed by using other seven non-PEDV swine pathogens. The minimum copies required for the detection of both classical and variant PEDV were 4.8 × 102 DNA copies/reaction. The repeatability of TaqMan RT-PCR was evaluated using standard recombinant plasmids and gave coefficients of variation 0.19–4.93. In recent 5 years, 79 clinical samples were collected from piglets with severe diarrhea in the Central China. Among these clinical samples, 51 were confirmed as PEDV positive by conventional RT-PCR, whereas 63 variant PEDV, 3 co-infections and 1 classical PEDV were confirmed by this duplex TaqMan RT-PCR, with viral loads of 102–108, 102–103, and 104 copies/reaction, respectively. Therefore, the duplex TaqMan RT-PCR could be a useful method for detecting and differentiating variant and classical PEDV strains. The results showed that variant PEDV was prevalent in clinical samples in central China. Moreover, in this study, co-infection by PEDV strains was detected for the first time and might help explain the emergence of the novel recombinant PEDV in recent years.