Native nucleic acid electrophoresis as an efficient alternative for genotyping method of influenza virus
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Influenza viruses are the worldwide major causative agents of human and animal acute respiratory infections. Some of the influenza subtypes have caused epidemics and pandemics among humans. The varieties of methods are available for the rapid isolation and identification of influenza viruses in clinical and environmental samples. Since nucleic acids amplification techniques such as RT-PCR have been adapted, fast and sensitive influenza type and subtype determination is possible. However, in some ambiguous cases other, more detailed assay might be desired. The genetic material of influenza virus is highly unstable and constantly mutates. It is known that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) results in resistance to commercially available anti-viral drugs. The genetic drift of the virus could also result in weakening of immune response to infection. Finally, in a substantial number of patients co-infection with various virus strains or types has been confirmed. Although the detection of co-infection or presence of minor genetic variants within flu-infected patients is not a routine procedure, a rapid and wide spectrum diagnostics of influenza virus infections could reveal an accurate picture of the disease and more importantly, is crucial for choosing the appropriate therapeutics and virus monitoring. Herein we present the evidences that native gel electrophoresis and MSSCP - a method based on multitemperature single strand conformation polymorphism could furnish a useful technique for minor variants, which escape discovery by conventional diagnostic assays.
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