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Title: Development of a rapid, simple method for detecting Naegleria fowleri visually in water samples by loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)
Authors: Aongart Mahittikorn
Hirotake Mori
Supaluk Popruk
Amonrattana Roobthaisong
Chantira Sutthikornchai
Khuanchai Koompapong
Sukhontha Siri
Yaowalark Sukthana
Duangporn Nacapunchai
Mahidol University. Faculty of Medical Technology. Department of Parasitology
Keywords: Open Access article
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2015
Citation: Plos One. Vol.10, No.3 (2015), 1-15
Abstract: Naegleria fowleri is the causative agent of the fatal disease primary amebic meningoencephalitis. Detection of N. fowleri using conventional culture and biochemical-based assays is time-consuming and laborious, while molecular techniques, such as PCR, require laboratory skills and expensive equipment. We developed and evaluated a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay targeting the virulence-related gene for N. fowleri. Time to results is about 90 min and amplification products were easily detected visually using hydroxy naphthol blue. The LAMP was highly specific after testing against related microorganisms and able to detect one trophozoite, as determined with spiked water and cerebrospinal fluid samples. The assay was then evaluated with a set of 80 water samples collected during the flooding crisis in Thailand in 2011, and 30 natural water samples from border areas of northern, eastern, western, and southern Thailand. N. fowleri was detected in 13 and 10 samples using LAMP and PCR, respectively, with a Kappa coefficient of 0.855. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a LAMP assay for N. fowleri. Due to its simplicity, speed, and high sensitivity, the LAMP method described here might be useful for quickly detecting and diagnosing N. fowleri in water and clinical samples, particularly in resource-poor settings.
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