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Betaine-assisted recombinase polymerase assay with enhanced specificity

Luo, Guang-Cheng, Yi, Ting-Ting, Jiang, Bing, Guo, Xiao-lan, Zhang, Guo-Yuan
Analytical biochemistry 2019 v.575 pp. 36-39
DNA, Hepatitis B virus, betaine, enzymes, polymerase chain reaction
Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) is a widespread isothermal amplification method and regarded as an excellent candidate to replace polymerase chain reaction. However, the specificity of RPA is not always satisfactory when the sample contains amounts of background DNA. Herein, we report a novel RPA method named betaine-assisted RPA (B-RPA) that uses inexpensive betaine to avoid nonspecific amplification effectively. Result show that nonspecific amplification is prone to occur in RPA if the primers have not been rigorously refined, especially in detecting samples with large amounts of background DNA. This problem has been addressed by adding betaine to the RPA reactions. Our data show that the addition of 0.8 M betaine can significantly increase specificity and efficiency simultaneously. This B-RPA method is also used to detect hepatitis B virus DNA in clinical plasma samples, thereby demonstrating the clinical practicability of B-RPA.