Direct detection of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus from infected bovine and porcine tissue was investigated using a modified polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. A high degree of conservation was found in the genomic region coding for the viral RNA polymerase among the seven FMD viral (FMDV) serotypes. An oligomeric primer pair and probe were constructed from consensus sequence data within this area. First strand cDNA was synthesized using random hexamers and Moloney MuLV reverse transcriptase. The oligomeric primers used for PCR of the random primed cDNA yielded a 454-base-pair target amplification product. The PCR product was sized by agarose gel electrophoresis and hybridized strongly with the consensus sequence oligomeric probe. The PCR product was further examined by digestion with NcoI, confirming the predicted internal restriction enzyme site. All seven serotypes of FMDV RNA were amplified in a few hours and the PCR product tested positive. The sensitivity of the enzymatic amplification for detection of FMDV was 10 TCID50 by gel electrophoresis and less than 1 TCID50 when combined with hybridization to a labeled probe. The technique was specific, as determined by examination of at least 12 other viruses, including enteroviruses and other agents of vesicular disease. In vitro enzymatic amplification of cDNA from FMDV RNA using the modified PCR technique is highly specific, rapid and at least as sensitive as presently used procedures for FMDV laboratory diagnosis.
- Foot-and-mouth disease virus
- RNA polymerase gene