a1 Unidad de Virologia INTA, Universidad de Chile, Macul 5540, Casilla 138–11, Santiago, Chile.
a2 Departamento de Biologia Celular y Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
A synthetic oligodeoxynucletide of 40 nucleotides corresponding to nucleotides 33–72 of the gene coding for the viral protein VP7 of rotavirus, was used as a nucleic acid probe to develop a non-radiactive hybridization method for rotavirus detection. The probe was labelled at the 3' end with biotin-7-dATP. The sensitivity and specificity of the dot blot hybridization assay for rotavirus detection was evaluated with 303 stool specimens. The results indicate that the hybridization assay has a higher sensitivity than both PAGE and EIA. Among the rotavirus strains tested 37 different electropherotypes were found. The results suggest that rotavirus diagnosis by dot hybridization using a non-radioactive probe may become routine laboratory procedure because it is simple, highly specific and very sensitive.
(Accepted July 31 1991)
c1 Corresponding author.