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27 March 2006 Detection of viral infections using colloidal quantum dots
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Fluorescence is a tool widely employed in biological assays. Fluorescent semiconducting nanocrystals, quantum dots (QDs), are beginning to find their way into the tool box of many biologist, chemist and biochemist. These quantum dots are an attractive alternative to the traditional organic dyes due to their broad excitation spectra, narrow emission spectra and photostability. Quantum dots were used to detect and monitor the progession of viral glycoproteins, F (fusion) and G (attachment), from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in HEp-2 cells. Additionally, oligo-Qdot RNA probes have been developed for identification and detection of mRNA of the N(nucleocapsid) protein for RSV. The use of quantum dot-FISH probes provides another confirmatory route to diagnostics as well as a new class of probes for monitoring the flux and fate of viral RNA RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection in children worldwide and the most common cause of hospitalization of infants in the US. Antiviral therapy is available for treatment of RSV but is only effective if given within the first 48 hours of infection. Existing test methods require a virus level of at least 1000-fold of the amount needed for infection of most children and require several days to weeks to obtain results. The use of quantum dots may provide an early, rapid method for detection and provide insight into the trafficking of viral proteins during the course of infection.
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Elizabeth L. Bentzen, Frances S. House, Thomas J. Utley, James E. Crowe Jr., and David W. Wright "Detection of viral infections using colloidal quantum dots", Proc. SPIE 6096, Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications, 609611 (27 March 2006);

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