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Chimeric DNA/LNA-based biosensor for the rapid detection of African swine fever virus

Biagetti, Massimo, Cuccioloni, Massimiliano, Bonfili, Laura, Cecarini, Valentina, Sebastiani, Carla, Curcio, Ludovica, Giammarioli, Monica, De Mia, Gian Mario, Eleuteri, Anna Maria, Angeletti, Mauro
Talanta 2018 v.184 pp. 35-41
African swine fever, African swine fever virus, DNA, DNA probes, biosensors, blood, chimerism, detection limit, fever, genes, genomics, genotype, mortality, nucleotide sequences, nucleotides, rapid methods, screening, swine, vaccination, virulence, viruses
African swine fever (ASF) virus is a DNA virus responsible for a severe haemorrhagic fever in pigs, which (still in the absence of vaccination strategies) results in high mortality rates. Herein, we present a biosensor-based method for the detection of ASF viral DNA in the blood of pigs. The biosensor exploits a single-strand DNA probe with locked nucleic acid nucleotides (LNA) substitutions as the complementary recognition element for the conserved region of vp72 gene of ASF virus.The biosensor was calibrated using qPCR-quantified ASF viral DNA extracted from the blood of pigs experimentally infected with the virulent Italian isolate 49/08, genotype I. Globally, the proposed biosensor showed good sensitivity and specificity, with the limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) being 178 and 245 copies/μL of genomic ASF viral DNA, respectively. The reversible nature of the interaction between the DNA/LNA probe and the target DNA sequence granted multiple rapid analyses, with up to 40 analyses per single surface possible, and a single test requiring approximately 5 min.When applied to non-amplified DNA extracts from the blood of field-infected pigs, the assay discriminated between ASFV-infected and ASFV non-infected animals, and allowed the rapid quantification of ASF viral DNA, with values falling in the range 373–1058 copies/μL of genomic ASFV DNA. In this range, excellent correlation was observed between the results of this biosensor and OIE-approved qPCR.This method represents a promising screening assay for preliminary ASF diagnosis, having the major advantages in the relative rapidity, ease-of-use, the reusability of the sensing surface, and low cost per single test.