Main content area

Multiplex real-time RT-PCR for detection and distinction of Spondweni and Zika virus

Rademan, Rochelle, Markotter, Wanda, Paweska, Janusz T., Jansen van Vuren, Petrus
Journal of virological methods 2019 v.266 pp. 72-76
Culicidae, Zika virus, arboviruses, detection limit, diagnostic techniques, humans, hydrolysis, monitoring, oligodeoxyribonucleotides, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, serotypes
Zika (ZIKV) and Spondweni viruses (SPOV) are closely related mosquito borne flaviviruses in the Spondweni serogroup. The co-circulation and similar disease presentation following ZIKV and SPOV infection necessitates the development of a diagnostic tool for their simultaneous detection and distinction. We developed a one-step multiplex real-time RT-PCR (ZIKSPOV) to detect and distinguish between SPOV and ZIKV by utilizing a single primer set combined with virus specific hydrolysis probes. The ZIKSPOV assay was compared to published virus specific real-time RT-PCR assays and the limit of detection was comparable. The SPOV reference strain AR94 was detectable to 0.001 TCID50 per PCR reaction, while African lineage ZIKV (MR 766) was detectable to 0.002 TCID50 per reaction and Asian lineage ZIKV (H/PF/2013) to 0.05 TCID50 per reaction. The ZIKSPOV assay did not detect other flaviviruses, indicative of its specificity for Spondweni serogroup. The ZIKSPOV assay is a useful addition to arbovirus diagnostic and surveillance tools in areas where ZIKV and SPOV are expected to co-circulate. Further evaluation is required to demonstrate the application of the assay for detection of ZIKV and SPOV in mosquito and human clinical samples.