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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Semi-quantitative detection of viral RNA in influenza A virus-infected mice for evaluation of antiviral compounds.

The aim of the study was to establish a murine model for sensitive screening of potential compounds with in vitro anti-influenza A virus activity. The evaluation in this in vivo model is based on semi-quantitative detection of viral RNA using one-step reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). After intranasal infection of fully-conscious mice with influenza A virus, the viral load of the respiratory tract tissues was investigated. Peaks were observed in the nasopharynx between Days 1 and 4, in the trachea on Day 4, and in the lungs between Days 4 and 7 post infection. The elimination of virus correlated with the appearance of specific serum antibodies. After 4 days of treatment with zanamivir, trachea and lungs revealed negative RT-PCR results, whereas viral load in the nasopharynx was significantly reduced. In conclusion, the virus spread in the described murine model is similar to upper respiratory tract infection with influenza virus in human. Viral load measurement by semi-quantitative detection of viral RNA allows rapid and sensitive screening of potential compounds with in vitro anti-influenza A virus activity.[1]


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