Repeated interspecies transmission of H9N2 virus from poultry to humans and human infections transmitted via aerosols highlight the need for a highly sensitive, rapid diagnostic system for the detection of this virus. However, no such test exhibiting high performance has been developed. In this study, the performance of a smartphone-based rapid fluorescent diagnostic system (SRFDS) was optimized for the diagnosis of an H9N2-virus-infected animal. To suppress the nonspecific reactivity of the bioconjugate in oropharyngeal (OP) and cloacal (CL) samples derived from chickens, different blocking reagents were tested, and a mixture of casein and sucrose was found to be optimal. To assess the performance of SRFDS, OP and CL samples were obtained from specific-pathogen-free chickens and used for comparison of this method with real-time reverse transcription PCR (rRT-PCR) at time points of three, five, and seven days postinfection (dpi). The limit of detection of SRFDS was found to be 7.5 PFU/mL, which was 138-fold higher than that of a conventional colloidal-gold-based avian influenza rapid diagnostic test. In the animal study, the presence of viral antigen was monitored with SRFDS, and the relative sensitivity (relative to rRT-PCR results) was 94.44 % (17/18) and 95.23 % (20/21) in OP and CL specimens, respectively. The specificity of SRFDS was 100 %. These results imply that the diagnostic performance of SRFDS might be comparable to that of rRT-PCR for diagnosis of H9N2 in chickens and that this test can be used as a highly sensitive rapid diagnostic method in field studies on broiler poultry and wild birds.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 10, 2016
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