Detection and subtyping of swine influenza H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2 viruses in clinical samples using two multiplex RT-PCR assays

Y. K. Choi, S. M. Goyal, S. W. Kang, M. W. Farnham, H. S. Joo

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73 Scopus citations


A total of 360 type A swine influenza virus-positive samples including cell culture isolates, nasal swabs or lung tissues along with 30 virus-negative samples were tested for the detection and subtyping of H1N1, H1N2 or H3N2 by two multiplex reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assays. The positive samples had been collected between 1999 and 2001 from pigs with respiratory diseases, and type A influenza virus was isolated and subtyped by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test at the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL). Two multiplex RT-PCR assays specific for H1 and H3, and N1 and N2 were developed. RT-PCR products with unique sizes characteristic of each subtype of influenza A virus were sequenced, and the sequences were demonstrated to be specific for H1N1, H1N2 or H3N2. Genomic RNAs or DNAs from 12 common swine pathogens other than type A influenza viruses were not amplified when the PCR assays were performed with these primer sets. Positive amplification reaction could be visualized with RNA extracted from up to 10-5 dilution of each reference virus with original infectivity titer of 105 TCID50/ml. Of the 360 samples tested, swine influenza virus H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2 were identified in 200, 13 and 139 samples, respectively. The remaining eight samples were positive for both H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. The results of multiplex RT-PCR were 100% in agreement with those of virus isolation. These results demonstrate the usefulness of multiplex RT-PCR for detection and identification of influenza A virus subtypes. The results also indicate an increased occurrence of H1N2 in US swine population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 11 2002


  • Multiplex RT-PCR
  • Subtype H1N2
  • Swine influenza virus

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