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Soliman, Hatem; El-Matbouli, Mansour: An inexpensive and rapid diagnostic method of Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) infection by loop-mediated isothermal amplification. In: Virology Journal 2005, 2:83




Background: Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) affects both juvenile and adult common carp and koi, and is especially lethal to fry. The high mortalities caused by the disease have had a negative impact on the international koi trade. Different diagnostic techniques have been used to detect KHV, including: isolation of the virus in cell culture, electron microscopy, several PCR tests, ELISA and in situ hybridisation. All of these methods are time consuming, laborious and require specialised equipment. Results: A rapid field diagnosis of KHV in common and koi carp was developed using loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). The LAMP reaction rapidly amplified nucleic acid with high specificity and efficiency under isothermal conditions using a simple water bath. Two methods of extracting DNA from host tissue were compared: extraction by boiling and by using a commercial extraction kit. A set of six primers - two inner primers, two outer primers and two loop primers - was designed from a KHV amplicon. The reaction conditions were optimised for detection of KHV in 60 min at 65 degrees C using Bst (Bacillus stearothermophilus) DNA polymerase. When visualised by gel electrophoresis, the products of the KHV LAMP assay appeared as a ladder pattern, with many bands of different sizes from 50 base-pairs (bp) up to the loading well. The KHV LAMP product could also be simply detected visually by adding SYBR Green I to the reaction tube and observing a colour change from orange to green. All samples positive for KHV by visual detection were confirmed positive by gel electrophoresis. The KHV LAMP had the same sensitivity as a standard PCR assay for the detection of KHV. Conclusion: This paper describes an accelerated LAMP assay for diagnosis of KHV. The entire procedure took only 90 minutes to produce a result: 15 minutes for DNA extraction; 60 min for the LAMP reaction; 2 min for visual detection using SYBR Green I. The test can be used under field conditions because the only equipment it requires is a water bath.