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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 907095, 5 pages
Research Article

An Optimized Real-Time PCR to Avoid Species-/Tissue-Associated Inhibition for H5N1 Detection in Ferret and Monkey Tissues

1Key Laboratory of Human Diseases Comparative Medicine, Ministry of Health, Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) & Comparative Medicine Centre, Peking Union Medical Collage (PUMC), Pan Jia Yuan Nan Li No. 5, Chao Yang District, Beijing 100021, China
2Key Laboratory of Human Diseases Animal Model, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Pan Jia Yuan Nan Li No. 5, Chao Yang District, Beijing 100021, China

Received 13 December 2011; Accepted 24 January 2012

Academic Editors: G. T. Pharr and I. Valpotic

Copyright © 2012 LingJun Zhan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The real-time PCR diagnostics for avian influenza virus H5N1 in tissue specimens are often suboptimal, since naturally occurring PCR inhibitors present in samples, or unanticipated match of primer to unsequenced species’ genome. With the principal aim of optimizing the SYBR Green real-time PCR method for detecting H5N1 in ferret and monkey (Chinese rhesus macaque) tissue specimens, we screened various H5N1 gene-specific primer pairs and tested their ability to sensitively and specifically detect H5N1 transcripts in the infected animal tissues, then we assessed RNA yield and quality by comparing Ct values obtained from the standard Trizol method, and four commonly used RNA isolation kits with small modifications, including Roche High Pure, Ambion RNAqueous, BioMIGA EZgene, and Qiagen RNeasy. The results indicated that a single primer pair exhibited high specificity and sensitivity for H5N1 transcripts in ferret and monkey tissues. Each of the four kits and Trizol reagent produced high-quality RNA and removed all or nearly all PCR inhibitors. No statistically significant differences were found between the Ct values from the isolation methods. So the optimized SYBR Green real-time PCR could avoid species- or tissue-associated PCR inhibition in detecting H5N1 in ferret and monkey tissues, including lung and small intestine.