Comparison of RT-PCR assays established in house at various places revealed that laboratories could differ in sensitivity by as much as 1,000-fold in terms of the ability to detect measles virus sequences in clinical samples. The study indicates that PCR findings, positive or negative, are questionable if they are not supported by the associated data demonstrating the overall sensitivity of the assay applied. Measles virus-specific RT-PCR-based assays need to be validated using standard virus preparation or nucleic acid-based target templates. A correlation between real-time quantitative PCR and the conventional PCR for measles virus is highly desirable.

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Journal of Medical Virology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Afzal, M.A, Osterhaus, A.D.M.E, Cosby, S.L, Jin, L, Beeler, J, Takeuchi, K, & Kawashima, H. (2003). Comparative evaluation of measles virus-specific RT-PCR methods through an international collaborative study. Journal of Medical Virology, 70(1), 171–176. doi:10.1002/jmv.10371