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Reverse Transcription-Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) Assay for Zika Virus and Housekeeping Genes in Urine, Serum, and Mosquito Samples

Published: September 14th, 2018



1Department of Urology, Beaumont Health System, 2Foundational Sciences, College of Medicine, Central Michigan University, 3Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

This protocol provides an efficient and low-cost method to detect Zika virus or control targets in human urine and serum samples or in mosquitoes by reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP). This method does not require RNA isolation and can be done within 30 min.

Infection with Zika virus (ZIKV) can be asymptomatic in adults, however, infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage and severe neurological birth defects. The goal of this protocol is to quickly detect ZIKV in both human and mosquito samples. The current gold standard for ZIKV detection is quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR); reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) may allow for a more efficient and low-cost testing without the need for expensive equipment. In this study, RT-LAMP is used for ZIKV detection in various biological samples within 30 min, without first isolating the RNA from the sample. This technique is demonstrated using ZIKV infected patient urine and serum, and infected mosquito samples. 18S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and actin are used as controls in human and mosquito samples, respectively.

In 2015, Zika virus (ZIKV) gained prominent global attention as an infectious disease of concern because infection during pregnancy was linked to miscarriage, stillbirth, severe neurological birth defects including microcephaly, as well as other congenital birth defects1. In rare cases, ZIKV has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome. ZIKV is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes; however, it can also be spread through sexual contact1. Given that the infection with ZIKV is asymptomatic in most people or presents with mild flu-like symptoms that overlap with the symptoms of infection of other arbor....

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All methods described here have been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Beaumont Health. All experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations.

CAUTION: All potentially infectious materials should be handled according to Biosafety Level 2 standards including the use of personal protective equipment. Any procedures which may produce aerosol should be performed in a biosafety cabinet. Additionally, work with live mosquitoes should be performed in .......

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RT-LAMP reactions can be analyzed using three different methods. First, with the addition of a fluorescent nucleic acid dye, positive reactions will be yellow/green in color where negative reactions will appear orange in color to the naked eye. Second, the addition of the fluorescent nucleic acid dye to RT-LAMP reaction results in a fluorescent signal when the samples are excited by UV light. Negative reactions will not have a detectable fluorescent signal over any background fluorescence.......

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The ZIKV RT-LAMP assay described in this paper works using both human and mosquito samples6. The limit of detection was approximately 1 genome equivalent6, which should be sufficient since the typical viral load of a symptomatic ZIKV infected patient is 103 to 106 PFU/mL7. Additionally, this method can detect ZIKV in samples without first isolating RNA and without virus amplification in cell culture. This signifi.......

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This work was supported by the Maureen and Ronald Hirsch family philanthropic contribution and Field Neurosciences Institute, St. Mary's of Michigan. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We also thank Dr. Bernadette Zwaans and Elijah Ward for their critical review of the manuscript.


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Bst 2.0 WarmStart DNA polymerase New England Biolabs M0537S
Isothermal Amplification Buffer  New England Biolabs B0537S
WarmStart RTx Reverse Transcriptase New England Biolabs M0380S
Antarctic Thermolabile UDG New England Biolabs M0372S
MgSO4 New England Biolabs B1003S
100mM dATP Solution New England Biolabs N0440S Deoxynucleotide Set N0446S
100mM dCTP Solution New England Biolabs N0441S Deoxynucleotide Set N0446S
100mM dTTP Solution New England Biolabs N0443S Deoxynucleotide Set N0446S
100mM dGTP Solution New England Biolabs N0442S Deoxynucleotide Set N0446S
100mM dUTP Solution Thermo Fisher Scientific R0133
SYBR Green I Nucleic Acid Gel Stain Invitrogen S7563
Nancy-520 Sigma Aldrich 01494
Low DNA Mass Ladder Invitrogen 10-068-013
Zika Postive Control Robert Koch Institute, Germany N/A
Agarose Thermo Fisher Scientific BP1600
BlueJuice Gel Loading Buffer Invitrogen 10816015
Primers Integrated DNA Technologies Custom Oligo
Nuclease-Free Water Ambion AM9938
Urine Preservative Norgen Biotek 18126
ZIKV PCR Standard Robert Koch Institute N/A Vero E6 cell supernatants
DENV2 New Guinea C Control Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station N/A

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