Nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) allows the rapid amplification of specific regions of nucleic acid obtained from a diverse range of sources. It is especially suitable for amplifying RNA sequences. A NASBA technique was developed that allows the detection of avian influenza A subtype H5 from allantoic fluid harvested from inoculated chick embryos. The amplified viral RNA is detected by electrochemiluminescence. The described NASBA technique is a specific, rapid, and sensitive method of detection of influenza A subtype H5 viruses. More importantly, it can be used to distinguish high- and low-pathogenicity strains of the H5 subtype.
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