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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 934851, 10 pages
Research Article

Development of Strand-Specific Real-Time RT-PCR to Distinguish Viral RNAs during Newcastle Disease Virus Infection

Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), 518 Ziyue Road, Shanghai 200241, China

Received 5 June 2014; Revised 12 August 2014; Accepted 12 August 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Peirong Jiao

Copyright © 2014 Xusheng Qiu 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.


Newcastle disease virus (NDV) causes large losses in the global fowl industry. To better understand NDV replication and transcription cycle, quantitative detection methods for distinguishing NDV genomic RNA (gRNA), antigenomic RNA (cRNA), and messenger RNA (mRNA) in NDV-infected cells are indispensible. Three reverse transcription primers were designed to specifically target the nucleoprotein (NP) region of gRNA, cRNA, and NP mRNA, and a corresponding real-time RT-PCR assay was developed to simultaneously quantify the three types of RNAs in NDV-infected cells. This method showed very good specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility. The detection range of the assay was between and copies/μL of the target gene. These methods were applied to investigate the dynamics of the gRNA, cRNA, and mRNA synthesis in NDV La Sota infected DF-1 cells. The results showed that the copy numbers of viral gRNA, cRNA, and NP mRNA all exponentially increased in the beginning. The viral RNA copy number then plateaued at 10’h postinfection and gradually decreased from 16 h postinfection. No synthesis priority was observed between replication (gRNA and cRNA amounts) and transcription (mRNA amounts) during NDV infection. However, the cRNA accumulated more rapidly than gRNA, as the cRNA copy number was three- to tenfold higher than gRNA starting from 2 h postinfection. Conclusion. A real-time RT-PCR for absolute quantitation of specific viral RNA fragments in NDV-infected cells was developed for the first time. The development of this assay will be helpful for further studies on the pathogenesis and control strategies of NDV.