Wednesday, 18 September 2013

17 new MERS-CoV sequences bind perfectly to frontline screening PCR assay for MERS...

Click to enlarge. The primers/probe are depicted as grey boxes.
If mismatches existed they would show up as horizontal black
lines within the grey box. No mismatches are evident.
The GenBank accession numbers are
shown on the left of this alignment of 17 MERS-CoV
sequences.
Only 17 of the 45 sequences seem to include the region covered by the upE laboratory assay I just posted about in the WHO laboratory testing update but of those, the forward and reverse oligonucleotide primers and the probe all bind without any mismatch.

While that may sound like an obvious statement considering that these viruses were probably detected using that assay it isn't.

The new MERS-CoV sequences were determined using using unbiased 2nd generation high-throughput sequencing technologies that did not rely on these primers to generate them. So we are now able to check and see if there are any nucleotide changes at the target sites for the primers and probe, that would reduce the efficiency the assay.

There are no such oligonucleotide mismatches between primer and viral genes among those 17 sequences, which is good news for that assay's continued usefulness.

Built to last eh?