A novel assay for the pan-serotypic detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) was designed using a 5' conjugated minor groove binder (MGB) probe real-time RT-PCR system. This assay targets the 3D region of the FMDV genome and is capable of detecting 20 copies of a transcribed RNA standard. The linear range of the test was eight logs from 2 x 10(1) to 2 x 10(8) copies and amplification time was approximately 2 h. Using a panel of 83 RNA samples from representative FMDV isolates, the diagnostic sensitivity of this test was shown to be equivalent to a TaqMan real-time RT-PCR that targets the 5' untranslated region of FMDV. Furthermore, the assay does not detect viruses causing similar clinical diseases in pigs such as swine vesicular disease virus and vesicular stomatitis virus, nor does it detect marine caliciviruses causing vesicular exanthema. The development of this assay provides a useful tool for the differential diagnosis of FMD, potentially for use in statutory or emergency testing programmes, or for detection of FMDV RNA in research applications. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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