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Supporting data for Development of Multiplex Droplet Digital RT-PCR Assays for the Detection of Influenza and Other Common Respiratory Virus Infections
In the first part of this thesis, a novel six-plex ddRT-PCR for the detection of influenza A and B viruses was developed for the purpose of surveillance and clinical use. The in silico analyses were performed for the coverage of the primer/probe sequences to those from online database. The performances of the assay were analyzed and presented in spreadsheet. The comparison between the performances of ddRT- PCR assay and qRT-PCR was demonstrated using RNA extracted from retrospective sample. The potential of six-plex ddRT-PCR assay to become a routine surveillance tool and clinical diagnostics has been shown in this study.
In the second part of this thesis, three multiplex ddRT-PCR assays were developed as a respiratory panel for the detection of sixteen common respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. The modified primer/probe sets were analyzed to see the coverage of primer/probe sequences to those sequences from online database. The performances of the respiratory panel were presented in spreadsheet. Unlike other countries in the world, Hong Kong implemented strict non-pharmaceutical mitigation strategies such as mandatory mask wearing and long quarantine periods to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (Chan et al., 2021). The evaluation of these measures on the spread of other respiratory viruses besides SARS-CoV-2 can be demonstrated through the comparison between the locally acquired cases and the import cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong. The results of screenign for respiratory virus co-infection can provide insights on future control strategies and outbreak responses against emerging respiratory virus infections.