Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay for SARS-associated coronavirus

Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Feb;10(2):311-6. doi: 10.3201/eid1002.030759.


A real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was developed to rapidly detect the severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The assay, based on multiple primer and probe sets located in different regions of the SARS-CoV genome, could discriminate SARS-CoV from other human and animal coronaviruses with a potential detection limit of <10 genomic copies per reaction. The real-time RT-PCR assay was more sensitive than a conventional RT-PCR assay or culture isolation and proved suitable to detect SARS-CoV in clinical specimens. Application of this assay will aid in diagnosing SARS-CoV infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Humans
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction* / statistics & numerical data
  • SARS Virus / genetics*
  • SARS Virus / isolation & purification*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology
  • Vero Cells


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral