Bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) causes severe disease in naive cattle of all ages and is a common pathogen in the respiratory disease complex of calves. Simplified methods for rapid BRSV diagnosis would encourage sampling during outbreaks and would consequently lead to an extended understanding of the virus. In this study, a BRSV fluorogenic reverse transcription PCR (fRT-PCR) assay, based on TaqMan principle, was developed and evaluated on a large number of clinical samples, representing various cases of natural and experimental BRSV infections. By using a single-step closed-tube format, the turn-around time was shortened drastically and results were obtained with minimal risk for cross-contamination. According to comparative analyses, the detection limit of the fRT-PCR was on the same level as that of a nested PCR and the sensitivity relatively higher than that of a conventional PCR, antigen ELISA (Ag-ELISA) and virus isolation (VI). Interspersed negative control samples, samples from healthy animals and eight symptomatically or genetically related viruses were all negative, confirming a high specificity of the assay. Taken together, the data indicated that the fRT-PCR assay can be applied to routine virus detection in clinical specimens and provides a rapid and valuable too] in BRSV research.
- fluorogenic RT-PCR