Development of a real-time RT-PCR assay for the simultaneous identification, quantitation and differentiation of avian metapneumovirus subtypes A and B.
This report details the development of an RT-PCR assay for the specific detection of US isolates of avian pneumovirus (APV). Of the several primer pairs tested, two sets of primers derived from the matrix gene of APV were able to specifically detect the viral RNA of APV. The nucleotide sequence comparison of the PCR products of APV isolates from Minnesota suggested that these viruses were closely related to the Colorado strain of APV, but were distinct from subtypes A and B European isolates of turkey APV (turkey rhinotracheitis: TRT). This M gene-based PCR was found to be very specific and sensitive. APV as low as 8 × 10−5 TCID50 (0.0323 μg/ml) could be detected using this assay. In addition, the two primers were able to differentiate isolates from turkeys in Minnesota.