Typing and Subtyping Influenza Virus Using DNA Microarrays and Multiplex Reverse Transcriptase PCR Academic Article uri icon


  • A model DNA microarray has been prepared and shown to facilitate typing and subtyping of human influenza A and B viruses. Reverse transcriptase PCR was used to prepare cDNAs encoding approximately 500-bp influenza virus gene fragments, which were then cloned, sequenced, reamplified, and spotted to form a glass-bound microarray. These target DNAs included multiple fragments of the hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and matrix protein genes. Cy3- or Cy5-labeled fluorescent probes were then hybridized to these target DNAs, and the arrays were scanned to determine the probe binding site(s). The hybridization pattern agreed perfectly with the known grid location of each target, and the signal-to-background ratio varied from 5 to 30. No cross-hybridization could be detected beyond that expected from the limited degree of sequence overlap between different probes and targets. At least 100 to 150 bp of homology was required for hybridization under the conditions used in this study. Combinations of Cy3- and Cy5-labeled DNAs can also be hybridized to the same chip, permitting further differentiation of amplified molecules in complex mixtures. In a more realistic test of the technology, several sets of multiplex PCR primers that collectively target influenza A and B virus strains were identified and were used to type and subtype several previously unsequenced influenza virus isolates. The results show that DNA microarray technology provides a useful supplement to PCR-based diagnostic methods.

publication date

  • February 1, 2001