Rapid detection of Orthopoxvirus by semi-nested PCR directly from clinical specimens: A useful alternative for routine laboratories

Jônatas Santos Abrahão, Betânia Paiva Drumond, Giliane De Souza Trindade, André Tavares Da Silva-Fernandes, Jaqueline Maria Siqueira Ferreira, Pedro Augusto Alves, Rafael Kroon Campos, Larissa Siqueira, Cláudio Antônio Bonjardim, Paulo César Peregrino Ferreira, Erna Geessien Kroon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Orthopoxvirus (OPV) has been associated with worldwide exanthematic outbreaks, which have resulted in serious economic losses as well as impact on public health. Although the current classical and molecular methods are useful for the diagnosis of OPV, they are largely inaccessible to unsophisticated clinical laboratories. The major reason for the inaccessibility is that they require both virus isolation and DNA manipulation. In this report, a rapid, sensitive and low-cost semi-nested PCR method is described for the detection of OPV DNA directly from clinical specimens. Aset of primerswasdesigned toamplify the conserved OPV vgf gene. The most useful thermal and chemical conditions were selected andminimum non-inhibitory dilutions were determined. More than 100 Brazilian Vaccinia virus (VACV) field clinical specimens were tested using this semi-nested PCR in order to confirm its applicability. Cowpox virus was also detected by PCR from the ear scabs of scarified Balb/cmice. In addition, the method was highly sensitive for the detection of VACV DNA in murine blood and excreta, which are among the suggested reservoirs of OPV. Together, these data suggest that semi-nested PCR can be used for initial screening for OPV and as a routine diagnostic laboratory method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-699
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Orthopoxvirus
  • Poxvirus
  • Vaccinia outbreaks
  • Viral diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Abrahão, J. S., Drumond, B. P., Trindade, G. D. S., Da Silva-Fernandes, A. T., Ferreira, J. M. S., Alves, P. A., Kroon Campos, R., Siqueira, L., Bonjardim, C. A., Ferreira, P. C. P., & Kroon, E. G. (2010). Rapid detection of Orthopoxvirus by semi-nested PCR directly from clinical specimens: A useful alternative for routine laboratories. Journal of Medical Virology, 82(4), 692-699. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.21617