Development and evaluation of a multitarget real-time Taqman reverse transcription-PCR assay for detection of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus and surveillance for an apparently related coronavirus found in masked palm civets.J Clin Microbiol. 2005 May; 43(5):2041-6.JC
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is the etiological agent of SARS. It is believed that SARS-CoV originates from wild animals. We have developed a multitarget real-time Taqman reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assay for the quantitative detection of SARS-CoV. The sequences of the Taqman probes with a minor groove binder and the corresponding primers were based on the sequences of the N gene, open reading frame (ORF) 3, and ORF 8. The overall linear range of this assay was from at least 10(1) to 10(6) copies per reaction, and the detection limit could reach less than 10 copies per reaction. The quantification results for SARS-CoV from cell culture correlated well with those of the RT-PCR by using any two of the three sets of primer and probe used in this assay. However, the results of quantification of SARS-CoV obtained by using a few available throat swab specimens from SARS patients and the N gene as the target were almost 10 times higher than those obtained by using ORF 3 and ORF 8. Using this assay, we also detected an apparently SARS-CoV-related coronavirus in the throat swab specimens from masked palm civets in the west part of Hubei Province, People's Republic of China.