A multiplex amplification refractory mutation system reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (ARMS RT-PCR) was developed for the differential diagnosis of Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine and wild-type strains based on a point mutation between the vaccine strain (S) and the wild-type strain (T) located in the p27 gene. This system was further upgraded to obtain a real-time ARMS RT-PCR (ARMS qRT-PCR) with a high-resolution melt analysis (HRMA) platform. The genotyping of various strains of FeLV was determined by comparing the HRMA curves with the defined wild-type FeLV (strain TW1), and the results were expressed as a percentage confidence. The detection limits of ARMS RT-PCR and ARMS qRT-PCR combined with HRMA were 100 and 1 copies of transcribed FeLV RNA per 0.5 ml of sample, respectively. No false-positive results were obtained with 6 unrelated pathogens and 1 feline cell line. Twelve FeLV Taiwan strains were correctly identified using ARMS qRT-PCR combined with HRMA. The genotypes of the strains matched the defined FeLV wild-type strain genotype with at least 91.17% confidence. A higher degree of sequence polymorphism was found throughout the p27 gene compared with the long terminal repeat region. In conclusion, the current study describes the phylogenetic relationship of the FeLV Taiwan strains and demonstrates that the developed ARMS RT-PCR assay is able to be used to detect the replication of a vaccine strain that has not been properly inactivated, thus acting as a safety check for the quality of FeLV vaccines
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