Typing and subtyping clinical isolates of influenza virus using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction

Clin Diagn Virol. 1996 Nov;7(2):77-84. doi: 10.1016/s0928-0197(96)00254-1.


Background: Influenza virus infections are a major cause of morbidity and the identification of the type or subtype of a clinical isolate has important clinical and epidemiological implications.

Objectives: To evaluate the ability of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay to type and subtype clinical human isolates of influenza virus.

Study design: Reference strains of influenza A H1N1, A/H3N2, and B viruses and human clinical isolates of influenza virus representing antigenic variants from the last 15 years were evaluated using an RT-PCR assay.

Results: Amplicons of 325, 198 and 365 base pairs in length were obtained from RNA extracted from influenza A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B viruses, respectively. All human-derived A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B reference strains and antigenic variants tested were correctly identified.

Conclusions: RT-PCR is an effective alternative to traditional methods for typing and subtyping influenza viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / classification*
  • Influenza A virus / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza B virus / classification*
  • Influenza B virus / genetics
  • Influenza B virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis


  • RNA, Viral