Microarray hybridization based identification of viral genotypes is increasingly assuming importance due to outbreaks of multiple pathogenic viruses affecting humans causing wide-spread morbidity and mortality. Surprisingly, microarray based identification of food-borne viruses, one of the largest groups of pathogenic viruses, causing more than 1.5 billion infections world-wide every year, has lagged behind. Cell-culture techniques are either unavailable or time consuming for routine application. Consequently, current detection methods for these pathogens largely depend on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based techniques, generally requiring an investigator to preselect the target virus of interest. Here we describe the first attempt to use the microarray as an identification tool for these viruses. We have developed methodology to synthesize targets for virus identification without using PCR, making the process genuinely sequence independent. We show here that a tiling microarray can simultaneously detect and identify the genotype and strain of common food-borne viruses in a single experiment.
The article is published in The Open Virology Journal and is free to access.