Many bunyaviruses of the Bunyamwera and California serogroups are medically important human pathogens. The development of an effective technique to detect the viruses by using molecular biologic tools, such as PCR, improves not only clinical diagnosis but also virologic surveillance of mosquito vectors in the field. In this study, we evaluated eight pairs of primers for reactivity with 44 viruses of the genus Bunyavirus, using a reverse transcriptase PCR technique. With a pair of serogroup-specific primers we designed, all viruses of the serogroups tested could be detected. Further, virus-specific primer pairs were identified for California encephalitis virus, Jamestown Canyon virus, La Crosse virus, and snowshoe hare virus for use in North America. Using this technique, we could detect one La Crosse virus-infected mosquito in a pool of 100 mosquitoes with undetectable plaque titers
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