Test: Real-Time Powassan virus (POWV) PCR on Cell-Free Samples (RNA RT-PCR)
Detection of POWV genomic RNA in cell-free samples such as plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) suggests the presence of virions from degenerating infected cells. Detection of POWV RNA in cell-free samples is an important indicator of active tissue or central nervous system (CNS) infection.
The viral genomic RNA is extracted from the cell-free sample using a commercial kit. The RT-PCR method is used to detect the viral gene by reverse transcribing the RNA of interest into its DNA complement (cDNA). Subsequently, the newly synthesized cDNA is amplified using traditional PCR methods.