Development of subfamily-based consensus PCR assays for the detection of human and animal herpesviruses
AbstractConsensus PCR assays that can be used to sensitively detect several herpesvirus (HV) species across the different subfamilies were developed in this study. Primers containing degenerate bases were designed to amplify regions of the DNA polymerase (DPOL) gene of alpha- and gamma-HVs, and the glycoprotein B (gB) gene of beta-HVs in a singleplex, non-nested touchdown PCR format. The singleplex touchdown consensus PCR (STC-PCR) was used to amplify the DNA of eight human and 24 animal HVs. The assay was able to detect the lowest DNA dilution of 10−5 for alpha-HVs and 10−3 for beta- and gamma-HVs. In comparison, lowest detection limits of 10−5, 10−3, and 10−2 were obtained for alpha-, beta-, and gamma-HVs respectively when a nested PCR was used. The findings in this study suggest that the STC-PCR assays can be employed for the molecular surveys and clinical detection of novel and known HVs.