Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major causative agent of lower respiratory tract infections in children and the elderly. A reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) was developed assay to amplify the genome of RSV subgroups A and B, in order to improve current diagnostic methods for RSV infection. The primer sets for RT-LAMP were designed using highly conserved nucleotide sequences in the matrix protein region of subgroups A and B, and were specific for each subgroup. The RT-LAMP efficiency was compared to virus isolation and a commercially available enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for RSV detection (BD Directigen EZ RSV test™), using nasopharyngeal aspirates from 59 children with respiratory tract infections. The RT-LAMP was specific for RSV and could not detect other respiratory pathogens. 61% (36/59) of children were positive by RT-LAMP, 34% (20/59) by viral isolation, and 56% (26/46) by EZ RSV. Of 16 specimens that were negative by both antigen detection and virus isolation, 12.5% (2/16) were RT-LAMP positive. These results suggest that the RT-LAMP is more sensitive than other methods used to detect RSV. The RT-LAMP assay developed in this study may be useful for diagnostic and epidemiological studies of RSV infection.
- Respiratory syncytial virus