Measles (Rubeola) by PCR
- Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of measles virus by
reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain
(also known as rubeola) is an important viral disease that
causes the death of about one million children each year.
Measles virus belongs to the genus morbillivirus, which is a
member of the paramyoxviridae family. Infection of non-human
primates has been well documented in macaques (especially
rhesus), baboons, African green, marmosets, tamarins, squirrel
monkeys, chimps, and Presbytis cristatus. Measles viral
infection seldom occurs in wild monkeys, but most wild-caught
monkeys seroconvert within a few months of capture. Shedding of
virus can be detected in most secretions and in urine.
Primates infected with this virus can be asymptomatic or rapidly
fatal. Marmosets are said to be especially susceptible and
symptoms such as maculopapular skin rash, serous to mucopurulent
nasal discharge, ocular discharge and diarrhea, and rarely,
abortion can develop in less than 10 days. (Koplik's spots may
be present sometimes but abortion rarely occurs.)
Immunosuppression during measles virus infection has also been
documented and death resulting from secondary infections is
outbreaks in primate colonies have been described (Potkay et
al., 1966; Willy et al., 1999; Choi et al., 1999). Although the
primary infective source or the mode of infection could not be
determined in a number of outbreaks, it was suspected that
measles virus might have been transmitted to the monkeys from
human visitors while the monkeys were on exhibit.
virus isolation can be used to diagnose measles virus infection,
a long incubation period is required to obtain results.
Furthermore, viral culture is neither sensitive nor specific,
and it increases the potential risk of laboratory personnel
contacting this virus. Serological detection of measles virus
infection is not sensitive. In some cases, measles virus can be
detected by PCR in oral fluids well before the onset of IgM
antibody (Oliveira et al., 2003). The ability to detect measles
virus by real time PCR in a wide variety of sample types such as
urine, oral fluid and CSF not only simplifies sample acquisition
procedures, but also offers multiple perspectives on the
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Help ensure that colonies are free of Measles virus
Early prevention of spread of this virus among a colony
Minimize personnel exposure to this virus
Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines
that derive from primates
Potkay, S., Ganaway, J.R., Rogers, N.G. and Kinard, R. (1966) An
epizootic of measles in a colony of rhesus monkeys (Macacca
mulatta). Am J Vet Res 27:331-334.
Willy, M.E., Woodward,
R.A., Thornton, V.B., Wolff, A.V., Flynn, B.M., Heath, J.L.,
Villamarzo, Y.S., Smith, S., Bellini, W.J. and Rota, P,A, (1999)
Management of a measles outbreak among Old World nonhuman
primates. Lab Anim Sci. 49:42-48.
Choi, Y.K., Simon, M.A.,
Kim, D.Y., Yoon, B.I., Kwon, S.W., Lee, K.W., Seo, I.B. and Kim,
D.Y.(1999) Fatal measles virus infection in Japanese macaques (Macaca
fuscata). Vet Pathol. 36:594-600.
Oliveira, S.A., Siqueira,
M.M., Camacho, L.A., Castro-Silva, R., Bruno, B.F. and Cohen,
B.J.(2003) Use of RT-PCR on oral fluid samples to assist the
identification of measles cases during an outbreak. Epidemiol
Specimen requirement: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or throat swab, or lesion swab, or lesion scab, or 0.2 ml
urine, serum, plasma or CSF.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR