Technology ID

Real-Time RT-PCR Assay for Influenza B Lineage Characterization

Lead Inventor
Emery, Shannon (CDC)
Lindstrom, Stephen (CDC)
Wu, Kai-Hui (CDC)
Berman, LaShondra (CDC)
Warnes, Christine (CDC)
Lead IC
Influenza B causes significant morbidity and mortality yearly around the world. There are two genetically and antigenically distinct lineages of influenza B that are known to co-circulate within the same influenza season. Currently, the trivalent influenza vaccine only has one influenza B lineage component. CDC researchers developed technology that detects and distinguishes the two major co-circulating antigenic lineages of influenza B viruses (B/Yamagata/16/88 (YAM) and B/Victoria/2/87 (VIC)) and provides accurate and timely surveillance data that are less prone to contamination than current methods. This technology relies on real-time RT-PCR and provides reproducible, high-throughput screening results for accurate and timely collection of surveillance and diagnostic information. The real-time RT-PCR assay takes just over an hour to cycle and can detect the presence of influenza viral RNA in respiratory specimens. The primers and probes used in the assays target hemagglutinin (HA) protein 1 RNA of currently circulating VIC-like and YAM-like influenza viruses. The assays can be adapted by public health facilities and laboratories.
Commercial Applications
  • Influenza B diagnostic assay
  • Surveillance studies to distinguish between circulating influenza B subtypes
Competitive Advantages
  • Highly specific and more sensitive than other influenza tests (e.g., rapid influenza diagnostic tests and immunofluorescence)
  • Distinguishes between two lineages of Influenza B that co-circulate during the flu season
  • Can yield results in just over an hour
  • Relies on RT-PCR technology that has become more common in public health facilities and laboratories worldwide
  • Reproducible and adaptable for high-throughput
Licensing Contact:
Mitzelfelt, Jeremiah