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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

versão impressa ISSN 0074-0276versão On-line ISSN 1678-8060

Resumo

ZAMBENEDETTI, Miriam Ribas et al. Internal control for real-time polymerase chain reaction based on MS2 bacteriophage for RNA viruses diagnostics. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2017, vol.112, n.5, pp.339-347.  Epub 06-Abr-2017. ISSN 0074-0276.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0074-02760160380.

BACKGROUND

Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is routinely used to detect viral infections. In Brazil, it is mandatory the use of nucleic acid tests to detect hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus in blood banks because of the immunological window. The use of an internal control (IC) is necessary to differentiate the true negative results from those consequent from a failure in some step of the nucleic acid test.

OBJECTIVES

The aim of this study was the construction of virus-modified particles, based on MS2 bacteriophage, to be used as IC for the diagnosis of RNA viruses.

METHODS

The MS2 genome was cloned into the pET47b(+) plasmid, generating pET47b(+)-MS2. MS2-like particles were produced through the synthesis of MS2 RNA genome by T7 RNA polymerase. These particles were used as non-competitive IC in assays for RNA virus diagnostics. In addition, a competitive control for HCV diagnosis was developed by cloning a mutated HCV sequence into the MS2 replicase gene of pET47b(+)-MS2, which produces a non-propagating MS2 particle. The utility of MS2-like particles as IC was evaluated in a one-step format multiplex real-time RT-PCR for HCV detection.

FINDINGS

We demonstrated that both competitive and non-competitive IC could be successfully used to monitor the HCV amplification performance, including the extraction, reverse transcription, amplification and detection steps, without compromising the detection of samples with low target concentrations. In conclusion, MS2-like particles generated by this strategy proved to be useful IC for RNA virus diagnosis, with advantage that they are produced by a low cost protocol. An attractive feature of this system is that it allows the construction of a multicontrol by the insertion of sequences from more than one pathogen, increasing its applicability for diagnosing different RNA viruses.

Palavras-chave : diagnostics; Real-time PCR; internal control; HCV; RNA viruses.

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