A cost-effective, accurate and rapid simultaneous multiplex assay is required for testing and diagnoses of conventional and emerging viruses in clinical virology laboratories. We developed and optimized a dual priming oligonucleotide (DPO) multiplex PCR assay for detecting influenza viruses including seasonal H1N1, 2009 pandemic H1N1, H3N2, influenza B and H5N1.
The optimized multiplex DPO PCR was used to detect 233 clinical human samples. The results were compared to those obtained with RT-qPCR, conventional PCR and immunochromatographic assay.
Specificity analysis revealed that the DPO PCR assay amplified each target virus without any cross-amplification. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the multiplex DPO-PCR sensitivity was higher than for the immunochromatographic assay and lower than for qPCR, while no significant difference was observed compared with conventional PCR, when detecting influenza A and B. Additional experiments using the same sample panel indicated no significant differences between the number of positive samples detected by multiplex DPO PCR and RT-qPCR when applying a Cq with a value lower than 30.
The five-targeted simultaneous multiplex DPO PCR assay could be easily adopted into routine practice. This approach is cost effective with a short running time, low technical requirements for the detection of influenza virus and early diagnosis in clinical laboratories.