Detection of adenoviruses in stools from healthy persons and patients with diarrhea by two-step polymerase chain reaction

J Med Virol. 1992 Jun;37(2):149-57. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890370214.


The use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of human adenoviruses in diluted stool samples was investigated. Two sets of nested primers, including primers specific for the hexon-coding region and for the E1B region of enteric adenoviruses (EAd), were assessed by two-step amplification. The primers constitute two different PCR systems designed for the detection of adenoviruses belonging to all six subgenera (A-F), and the two EAds Ad40 and Ad41, respectively. In a two-step PCR mediated amplification a single virus particle was detected when the two sets of general hexon primers or EAd specific primers were used. Earlier results from PCR detection of adenoviruses in stool from children suffering from diarrhea gave indications that adenovirus particles are commonly shed in stools without being identified as the cause of illness [Allard et al.: Journal of Clinical Microbiology 28:2659-2667, 1990]. Therefore, the general and the EAd specific PCR assays were assessed on 150 stool specimens from three groups including 50 healthy children, 50 healthy adults, and 50 adults suffering from diarrhea. When the two sets of general hexon primers were used, 25 of the 50 specimens from the healthy children (mean age 21 months) were found positive by two-step PCR amplification. Nine of the 50 specimens from the healthy adults (mean age 32 years) were found positive whereas 12 of the 50 specimens from sick adults (mean age 31 years) gave amplification products, using the two sets of general hexon primers in a nested fashion. None of the 150 specimens were found to be positive by two-step PCR amplification using the two sets of EAd-specific primers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / microbiology
  • Adenoviruses, Human / genetics
  • Adenoviruses, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Diarrhea / microbiology
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Viral