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Optimizing Release of Nucleic Acids of African Swine Fever Virus and Influenza A Virus from FTA Cards

FTA cards and related products simplify the collection, transport, and transient storage of biological sample fluids. Here, we have compared the yield and quality of DNA and RNA released from seven different FTA cards using seven releasing/extraction methods with eleven experimental eluates. For the validation, dilution series of African swine fever virus (ASFV) positive EDTA blood and Influenza A virus (IAV) positive allantoic fluid were used. Based on our data, we conclude that direct PCR amplification without the need for additional nucleic acid extraction and purification could be suitable and more convenient for ASFV DNA release from FTA cards. In contrast, IAV RNA loads can be amplified from FTA card punches if a standard extraction procedure including a lysis step is applied. These differences between the amplifiable viral DNA and RNA after releasing and extraction are not influenced by the type of commercial FTA card or the eleven different nucleic acid releasing procedures used for the comparative analyses. In general, different commercial FTA cards were successfully used for the storage and recovery of the ASFV and IAV genetic material suitable for PCR. Nevertheless, the usage of optimized nucleic acid releasing protocols could improve the recovery of the viral genome of both viruses. Here, the application of Chelex® Resin 100 buffer mixed with 1 × Tris EDTA buffer (TE, pH 8.0) or with TED 10 (TE buffer and Dimethylsulfoxid) delivered the best results and can be used as a universal method for releasing viral DNA and RNA from FTA cards.



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