Influence of primer & probe chemistry and amplification target on reverse transcription digital PCR quantification of viral RNA
Van Heuverswyn, F., Karczmarczyk, M., Schimmel, H., et al.Compared to other PCR technologies, digital PCR is a potentially highly accurate approach for the quantification of nucleic acid fragments. This study describes the impact of four experimental factors, namely primer and probe chemistry, PCR amplification target, duplexing, and template type, on the measurement results obtained by reverse transcription digital PCR (RT-dPCR) of viral RNA using influenza A virus as a model. Along conventional dual labelled probes (DLP), alternative primer and probe chemistries, including Zip Nucleic Acids (ZNAs), Locked Nucleic Acids (LNAs), and Scorpions(®), were compared with two RNA template types: i) total genomic RNA extracted from cell cultured influenza A and ii) a synthetically prepared RNA transcript (In vitro transcribed RNA). While apparently duplexing or a different PCR target choice did not have a significant influence on the estimated RNA copy numbers, the impact of the choice of primer and probe chemistry and template type differed significantly for some methods. The combined standard uncertainty of the dPCR analysis results has been assessed, taking into account both the repeatability and the intermediate precision of the procedure. Our data highlight the importance of dPCR method optimisation and the advantage of using a more sophisticated primer and probe chemistry, which turned out to be dependent on the template type. Considerations are provided with respect to the molecular diagnostics of viral RNA pathogens, and more specifically, for precise quantification of RNA, which is of tremendous importance for the development of RNA calibration materials and the qualification of these calibrants as certified reference materials.
Van Heuverswyn, F., Karczmarczyk, M., Schimmel, H., et al. "Influence of primer & probe chemistry and amplification target on reverse transcription digital PCR quantification of viral RNA" Biomolecular Detection and Quantification (2016): 20–8