Detection of African swine fever virus by loop-mediated isothermal amplification
A loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was developed for the detection of African swine fever virus (ASFV). This assay targets the topoisomerase II gene of ASFV and its specificity was confirmed by restriction enzyme digestion of the reaction products. The analytical sensitivity of this ASFV LAMP assay was at least 330 genome copies, and the test was able to detect representative isolates of ASFV (n = 38) without cross-reacting with classical swine fever virus. The performance of the LAMP assay was compared with other laboratory tests used for ASF diagnosis. Using blood and tissue samples collected from pigs experimentally infected with ASFV (Malawi isolate), there was good concordance between the LAMP assay and real-time PCR. In addition to detecting the reaction products using either agarose gels or real-time PCR machines, it was possible to visualise dual-labelled biotin and fluorescein ASFV LAMP amplicons using novel lateral flow devices. This assay and detection format represents the first step towards developing a practical, simple-to-use and inexpensive molecular assay format for ASF diagnosis in the field which is especially relevant to Africa where the disease is endemic in many countries.