High resolution melting analysis: rapid and precise characterisation of recombinant influenza A genomes
Background High resolution melting analysis (HRM) is a rapid and cost-effective technique for the characterisation of PCR amplicons. Because the reverse genetics of segmented influenza A viruses allows the generation of numerous influenza A virus reassortants within a short time, methods for the rapid selection of the correct recombinants are very useful. Methods PCR primer pairs covering the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) positions of two different influenza A H5N1 strains were designed. Reassortants of the two different H5N1 isolates were used as a model to prove the suitability of HRM for the selection of the correct recombinants. Furthermore, two different cycler instruments were compared. Results Both cycler instruments generated comparable average melting peaks, which allowed the easy identification and selection of the correct cloned segments or reassorted viruses. Conclusions HRM is a highly suitable method for the rapid and precise characterisation of cloned influenza A genomes.