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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 147  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 293-298

Evaluation of real-time reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for clinical diagnosis of West Nile virus in patients

1 Division of Virology, Defence Research & Development Establishment, Gwalior, India
2 Division of Virology, Translational Health Science & Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Jyoti S Kumar
Division of Virology, Defence Research & Development Establishment, Jhansi Road, Gwalior 474 002, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.234607

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Background & objectives: West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus. The disease can be diagnosed by isolation followed by fluorescent antibody tests, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. These diagnostic methods are laborious and time-consuming. The present study was aimed to evaluate the real-time reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) method for rapid, early and accurate diagnosis of WNV. Methods: A one-step single tube accelerated quantitative RT-LAMP assay was evaluated by targeting the Env gene of WNV. The gene amplification was accomplished by incubating the reaction mixture at 63°C for 60 min in both real time turbidimeter as well as routine laboratory water bath/dry heating bath. To rule out contamination issues, proper negative controls, including no template, no primer; and no enzyme, were always kept alongside each run. The RT-LAMP assay was evaluated on 105 clinical samples from individuals having ocular infection. Results: Of the 105 samples tested, 27 were positive for WNV by RT-LAMP assay. The comparative evaluation with conventional RT-PCR revealed 100 per cent accordance with sensitivity and specificity of 100 and 95 per cent, respectively. The specificity of this assay was confirmed with serum samples obtained from patients with dengue and chikungunya. Interpretation & conclusions: The RT-LAMP test seemed to be a sensitive and specific method for rapid detection of WNV infection and would be useful for rapid screening of a large number of clinical samples in endemic areas during outbreaks.

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