Qin, Z.-Q.; Xu, J.; Feng, T.; Lv, S.; Qian, Y.-J.; Zhang, L.-J.; Li, Y.-L.; Lv, C.; Bergquist, R.; Li, S.-Z.; Zhou, X.-N. Field Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Platform for the Detection of Schistosoma japonicum Infection in Oncomelania hupensis Snails. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis.2018, 3, 124.
Qin, Z.-Q.; Xu, J.; Feng, T.; Lv, S.; Qian, Y.-J.; Zhang, L.-J.; Li, Y.-L.; Lv, C.; Bergquist, R.; Li, S.-Z.; Zhou, X.-N. Field Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Platform for the Detection of Schistosoma japonicum Infection in Oncomelania hupensis Snails. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 124.
Schistosoma infection in snails can be monitored by microscopy or indirectly by sentinel mice. As both these approaches sometimes miss infections, more sensitive tests are needed, particularly in low-level transmission settings. In this study, the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique, designed to detect a specific 28S ribosomal S. japonicum gene with high sensitivity, was compared to microscopy using snail samples from 51 areas endemic for schistosomiasis in five Chinese provinces. The results were compared with those by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) adding DNA sequencing as a reference when needed. The testing of pooled snail samples showed that a dilution factor of 1/50, i.e., one infected snail plus 49 non-infected ones, would still result in a positive reaction after the recommended number of amplification cycles. Testing a total of 232 pooled samples, emanating from 4,006 snail specimens, with the LAMP assay showed a 6.5% rate of infection, while traditional microscopy found only 0.04% positive samples in the same materials. Parallel PCR analysis confirmed the diagnostic accuracy of the LAMP assay, with DNA sequencing even giving LAMP a slight lead. Microscopy and the LAMP test were carried out at local schistosomiasis-control stations demonstrating that the potential of the latter assay to serve as a point-of-care (POC) test with results available within 60–90 minutes, while the more complicated PCR test had to be carried out at the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (NIPD) in Shanghai, China. In conclusion, LAMP was found to be clearly superior to microscopy and as good as, or better, than PCR. Application of LAMP testing would be useful for surveillance and risk prediction as it requires less time than other techniques and can be used under field conditions, which improves and accelerates schistosomiasis control.
Schistosoma japonicum; Oncomelania hupensis; snail; 28S ribosomal DNA; PCR; loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP); pooled samples; China
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