Establishment of an in-house one-step real-time RT-PCR assay for detection of Zaire ebolavirus-Hoa hoc
Ebola virus is a deadly causative agent with a high mortality rate of up to 90%, therefore it has been classified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a category A biological agent. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended using RT-PCR based assays to rapidly detect the virus. In the present study, we established an in-house assay for detection of Zaire ebolavirus via real-time RT-PCR. The nucleotide sequence of the Zaire ebolavirus nucleoprotein (NP) gene was retrieved from the Genbank for designing primer pairs and probes using Primer Express 3.0 software. The RNA positive control was generated by in vitro RNA transcript synthesis. The optimal components in the 20 μl final volume of the real-time RT-PCR assay were 10 μl 2X QuantiTect Probe RT-PCR master mix, 0,6 μM of each primer, 0,1 μM of the probe, 0,2 μl RT mix and 5 μl of RNA template. The thermal cycle conditions were as follows: 50o C for 30 min, 95°C for 15 min, then 45 cycles of 15 s at 94°C, 60s at 60°C. The limit of detection of the assay was 100 copies/reaction and 1414 FFU/ml with the positive RNA panel and sample panel of RNA extracted from cell culture supernatants of cells infected with Zaire ebolavirus 2014/Gueckedou-C05, respectively. The specificity of this assay was 100% when tested with the positive RNA panel of Ebola virus and other haemorrhagic fever viruses. In conclusion, we successfully established an in-house real-time RT-PCR assay for detection of Zaire ebolavirus in Vietnam with a limit of detection of 1414 FFU/ml and specificity of 100%.