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Virologica Sinica, 33 (3) : 270, 2018
Research Article
Micro-droplet Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction and Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction Technologies Provide Highly Sensitive and Accurate Detection of Zika Virus
1. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
2. Jiangmen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jiangmen 529085, China
3. Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Drug Research for Emerging Virus Prevention and Treatment, School of Pharmacy, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
 Correspondence: zhangb@smu.edu.cn;zhaowei@smu.edu.cn
The establishment of highly sensitive diagnostic methods is critical in the early diagnosis and control of Zika virus (ZIKV) and in preventing serious neurological complications of ZIKV infection. In this study, we established micro-droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) protocols for the detection of ZIKV based on the amplification of the NS5 gene. For the ZIKV standard plasmid, the RT-qPCR results showed that the cycle threshold (Ct) value was linear from 101 copy/μL to 108 copy/μL, with a standard curve R2 of 0.999 and amplification efficiency of 92.203%; however, a concentration as low as 1 copy/μL could not be detected. In comparison with RT-qPCR, the ddPCR method resulted in a linear range of 101 to 104copy/μL and was able to detect concentrations as low as 1 copy/μL. Thus, for detecting ZIKV from clinical samples, RT-qPCR is a better choice for high-concentration samples (above 101 copy/μL), while ddPCR has excellent accuracy and sensitivity for low-concentration samples. These results indicate that the ddPCR method should be of considerable use in the early diagnosis, laboratory study, and monitoring of ZIKV.
Received: 7 Mar 2018  Accepted: 23 May 2018  Published online: 14 Jun 2018
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