Detection of all known filovirus species by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using a primer set specific for the viral nucleoprotein gene

Hirohito Ogawa, Hiroko Miyamoto, Hideki Ebihara, Kimihito Ito, Shigeru Morikawa, Heinz Feldmann, Ayato Takada

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The filoviruses, Marburg virus (MARV) and Ebola virus (EBOV), are causative agents of severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in humans and non-human primates. Sporadic outbreaks of filovirus infection have occurred in Central Africa and parts of Asia. Identification of the natural reservoir animals that are unknown yet and epidemiological investigations are current challenges to forestall outbreaks of filovirus diseases. The filovirus species identified currently include one in the MARV group and five in the EBOV group, with large genetic variations found among the species. Therefore, it has been difficult to develop a single sensitive assay to detect all filovirus species, which would advance laboratory diagnosis greatly in endemic areas. In this study, a highly sensitive universal RT-PCR assay targeting the nucleoprotein (NP) gene of filoviruses was developed. The genomic RNAs of all known MARV and EBOV species were detected by using an NP-specific primer set. In addition, this RT-PCR procedure was verified further for its application to detect viral RNAs in tissue samples of animals infected experimentally and blood specimens of infected patients. This assay will be a useful method for diagnostics and epidemiological studies of filovirus infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-313
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Diagnosis
  • Ebola virus
  • Filovirus
  • Marburg virus
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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