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Simultaneous Detection of Bluetongue Virus RNA, Internal Control GAPDH mRNA, and External Control Synthetic RNA by Multiplex Real-Time PCR

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Bluetongue is an insect-borne disease of domestic and wild ruminants that requires strict monitoring by sensitive, reproducible and robust methods. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis has become the method of choice for routine viral diagnosis. As false-negative test results can have serious implications; an internal/external control system should be incorporated in each analysis to detect RT-qPCR failure due to poor sample quality, improper nucleic acid extraction and/or PCR inhibition. To increase the diagnostic capacity and reduce costs, it is recommended to use a multiplex strategy which enables the amplification of multiple targets in a single reaction. This chapter describes the application of a triplex RT-qPCR for the simultaneous detection of bluetongue viral RNA, an internal control and an external control. The primer and probe sequences of the BTV RT-qPCR were taken from Toussaint et al. (J Virol Methods 140:115–123, 2007), whereas the internal and external RT-qPCRs were specifically designed to detect endogenous glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase mRNA and a synthetic RNA, respectively. To maximize the sensitivity of the assay, the primer concentrations of the internal/external control reactions were limited and the amount of Taq DNA polymerase was increased. A comparison of the singleplex versus triplex RT-qPCR indicated that the triplex RT-qPCR exhibits a higher analytical sensitivity. Due to the incorporation of the internal/external control system, the triplex RT-qPCR allows an even more reliable and rapid diagnosis of bluetongue than the previously described singleplex RT-qPCR (J Virol Methods 140:115–123, 2007).
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