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Development of a real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay to detect and quantify group A rotavirus equine-like G3 strains

, Mathew D. Esona, Rashi Gautam, Michael D. Bowen

Abstract: Since 2013, group A rotavirus strains characterized as novel DS-1-like inter-genogroup reassortant ‘equine-like G3’ strains have emerged and spread across five continents among human populations in at least 14 countries. Here we report a novel one-step TaqMan quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay developed to genotype and quantify the viral load for samples containing rotavirus equine-like G3 strains. Using a universal G forward primer and a newly designed reverse primer and TaqMan probe, we developed and validated an assay with a linear dynamic range of 2.3 × 10 9 – 227 copies per reaction and a limit of detection of 227 copies. The percent positive agreement, percent negative agreement, and precision of our assay were 100.00%, 99.63%, and 100.00%, respectively. This assay can simultaneously detect and quantify the viral load for samples containing DS-1-like inter-genogroup reassortant equine-like G3 strains with high sensitivity and specificity, faster turnaround time, and decreased cost and will be valuable for high-throughput screening of stool samples collected to monitor equine-like G3 strain prevalence and circulation among human populations throughout the world.
Keywords: viral load / assay / detect and quantify / equine like G3 / rotavirus

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