ORCID

Abstract

Ranaviruses are emerging pathogens that can cause morbidity, mortality and population declines in ectothermic hosts; however, there is no standardized approach to diagnostics. Here, we compared the inter-assay variation and intra-assay precision among 2 commonly used quantitative PCRs (qPCRs), a conventional and a nested PCR assay (used as a gold standard), using laboratory-propagated ranavirus (FV3 and CMTV) and field-collected samples. A qPCR assay (‘Leung’) detected viral DNA in dilutions 2 orders of magnitude lower than other assays regardless of the viral lineage of the cultured isolate (FV3/CMTV). The second qPCR (‘Brunner’) was slightly more sensitive than the conventional PCR (‘Mao’ assay). For field samples, the Leung qPCR detected all known positives, while the Mao assay PCR only detected 2.5% of the positive samples. Amplicon sequences from the 2 conventional PCRs were shown to be useful for inferring viral lineage. Inaccurate results will bias estimates of the distribution and prevalence of ranaviruses, and together these findings emphasize that molecular assays should be chosen carefully in the context of study aims.

DOI

10.3354/dao03518

Publication Date

2020-09-24

Publication Title

Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

Volume

141

First Page

139

Last Page

147

ISSN

0177-5103

Embargo Period

2022-01-21

Organisational Unit

School of Biological and Marine Sciences

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