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Identification of duck plague virus by polymerase chain reaction

January 1, 1999

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for detecting duck plague virus. A 765-bp EcoRI fragment cloned from the genome of the duck plague vaccine (DP-VAC) virus was sequenced for PCR primer development. The fragment sequence was found by GenBank alignment searches to be similar to the 3′ ends of an undefined open reading frame and the gene for DNA polymerase protein in other herpesviruses. Three of four primer sets were found to be specific for the DP-VAC virus and 100% (7/7) of field isolates but did not amplify DNA from inclusion body disease of cranes virus. The specificity of one primer set was tested with genome templates from other avian herpesviruses, including those from a golden eagle, bald eagle, great horned owl, snowy owl, peregrine falcon, prairie falcon, pigeon, psittacine, and chicken (infectious laryngotracheitis), but amplicons were not produced. Hence, this PCR test is highly specific for duck plague virus DNA. Two primer sets were able to detect 1 fg of DNA from the duck plague vaccine strain, equivalent to five genome copies. In addition, the ratio of tissue culture infectious doses to genome copies of duck plague vaccine virus from infected duck embryo cells was determined to be 1:100, making the PCR assay 20 times more sensitive than tissue culture for detecting duck plague virus. The speed, sensitivity, and specificity of this PCR provide a greatly improved diagnostic and research tool for studying the epizootiology of duck plague. 

Publication Year 1999
Title Identification of duck plague virus by polymerase chain reaction
DOI 10.2307/1592768
Authors W. R. Hansen, Sean E. Brown, S.W. Nashold, D.L. Knudson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Avian Diseases
Index ID 1003826
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center