Establishment and application of a real-time recombinase polymerase amplification assay for the detection of avian leukosis virus subgroup J

Avian leukosis caused by avian leukosis virus (ALV), belonging to the genus Alpharetrovirus of the family Retroviridae, is associated with benign and malignant tumors in hemopoietic cells in poultry. Although several methods have been developed for ALV detection, most of them are not suitable for rapid on-site testing due to instrument limitations, professional operators, or the low sensitivity of the method. Herein, we described the real-time recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay for rapid detection of ALV subgroup J (ALV-J). The major viral structural glycoprotein gp85, highly specific for the subgroup, was used as the molecular target for the real-time RPA assay. The results were obtained at 38 degrees C within 20 min, with the detection sensitivity of 10 copies/mul of standard plasmid pMD18-T-gp85 as the template per reaction. Real-time RPA was capable of ALV-J-specific detection without cross-reaction with other non-targeted avian pathogens. Of the 62 clinical samples tested, the ALV-positive rates of real-time RPA, PCR, and real-time PCR were 66.13% (41/62), 59.68% (37/62), and 67.74% (42/62), respectively. The diagnostic agreement between real-time RPA and real-time PCR was 98.39% (61/62), and the kappa value was 0.9636. The developed real-time ALV-J assay seems promising for rapid and sensitive detection of ALV-J in diagnostic laboratories. It is suitable for on-site detection, especially in a poor resource environment, thus facilitating the prevention and control of ALV-J.

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