Detection and typing of dengue virus by one-step RT-PCR-based high-resolution melting assay

Virus Genes. 2022 May 10. doi: 10.1007/s11262-022-01906-8. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Dengue is a rapidly spreading arboviral disease that can be transmitted through any of the four types of dengue virus (DENV) serotypes. Previous studies have observed that individuals who have a pre-existing secondary infection due to a different dengue serotype, experience severe forms of this disease. During a DENV outbreak, a time-sensitive preliminary diagnosis of the origin of DENV might be useful in controlling the epidemic. Here, we developed a rapid and accurate one-step TB Green RT-PCR-based high-resolution melting (HRM) assay to identify and serotype DENV using serotyping primers based on the alignment with the E gene. This assay had a detection limit of 7.7 × 102 (DENV 1), 3.8 × 102 (DENV 2), 6.2 × 102 (DENV 3), and 1.2 × 103 (DENV 4) RNA copies/mL. No cross-reactivity with the Chikungunya, Zika, and Japanese encephalitis viruses was observed. The feasibility of using this assay for clinical diagnosis was evaluated in DENV-positive patient sera. The HRM assay and the RT-qPCR had complete matched results derived from DENV detection, including 51 serum positive and 20 serum negative. Additionally, eight DENV 2 strains in the same serotype were successfully differentiated by an HRM assay. Thus, this assay facilitated accurate detection and serotyping of DENV, along with the time-sensitive identification of the infectious focus of different DENVs.

Keywords: Dengue virus; E gene; High-resolution melting; RT-PCR; Serotype.