Studies were performed to identify a pair of primers, specific for the tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus complex of the Flaviviridae, with which to develop a rapid and specific identification system based on reverse transcription and the polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The specificity of a putative primer pair was examined by RT-PCR of representative viruses from other antigenic complexes of the Flaviviridae and by computer sequence homology checks. All viruses of the TBE complex tested, with a single exception, were identified by RT-PCR using the identified primer pair. Accumulated data suggest that one of the putative primers identified in these studies may have flavivirus group specificity. The advantages of such a primer in the development of identification systems for all virus complexes of the Flaviviridae is discussed.
- Tick-borne encephalitis virus
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