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Simultaneous Detection and Differentiation Between Wild-Type and Vaccine Measles Viruses by a Multiplex Real-Time Reverse Transcription-PCR Assay

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Simultaneous Detection and Differentiation Between Wild-Type and Vaccine Measles Viruses by a Multiplex Real-Time Reverse Transcription-PCR Assay

Kanti Pabbaraju et al. J Clin Microbiol.

Abstract

Measles is one of the most contagious viral respiratory infections and was declared to be eliminated from Canada in 1998; however, measles cases and outbreaks still occur every year through reintroduction from other parts of the world. Laboratory confirmation of measles virus (MV) RNA by real-time PCR provides a definitive diagnosis, and molecular analysis to determine the genotype is the only way to distinguish between wild-type and vaccine strains. This distinction is important since live attenuated vaccine strains are able to replicate in the patient and can be associated with rash and fever but are poorly transmissible, if at all. Prompt reporting of measles cases to local authorities, including differentiation between wild-type and vaccine strains, allows for optimal management and contact tracing. The development and validation of a multiplex real-time reverse transcription-PCR (rtRT-PCR) assay for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of the Moraten and Schwarz vaccine strains from presumptive wild-type MV in a format that can be easily implemented for high-throughput testing of patient samples are reported here. This assay is sensitive, specific, reproducible, and 100% accurate in comparison with the gold standard comparator assay.

Keywords: measles; real-time RT-PCR; vaccines; wild type.

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