A multiplex reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was developedfor the simultaneous detection of two enteric viruses of poultry: turkey enteric coronavirus (TCV) and turkey astrovirus (TAstV). PCR primers were designed to conserved regions within the nucleocapsid gene of TCV and to the polymerase gene of TAstV-2. The primer pairs were successfully used in a multiplex RT-PCR to detect nucleic acid of TAstV-2 and TCV. The test was optimized for use with intestines/feces from naturally infected turkeys. The primers were specific and did not amplify other common RNA or DNA avian viruses. The detection limit was determined to be 10 ng of RNA used as starting template. The use of this specific test allows the rapid and early diagnosis of two financially costly viruses affecting the commercial turkey industry.
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Vol. 48 • No. 3