Real-time Detection and Monitoring of Loop Mediated Amplification (LAMP) Reaction Using Self-quenching and De-quenching Fluorogenic Probes
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Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is an isothermal nucleic acid amplification (iNAAT) technique known for its simplicity, sensitivity and speed. Its low-cost feature has resulted in its wide scale application, especially in low resource settings. The major disadvantage of LAMP is its heavy reliance on indirect detection methods like turbidity and non-specific dyes, which often leads to the detection of false positive results. In the present work, we have developed a direct detection approach, whereby a labelled loop probe quenched in its unbound state, fluoresces only when bound to its target (amplicon). Henceforth, referred to as Fluorescence of Loop Primer Upon Self Dequenching-LAMP (FLOS-LAMP), it allows for the sequence-specific detection of LAMP amplicons. The FLOS-LAMP concept was validated for rapid detection of the human pathogen, Varicella-zoster virus, from clinical samples. The FLOS-LAMP had a limit of detection of 500 copies of the target with a clinical sensitivity and specificity of 96.8% and 100%, respectively. The high level of specificity is a major advance and solves one of the main shortcomings of the LAMP technology, i.e. false positives. Self-quenching/de-quenching probes were further used with other LAMP primer sets and different fluorophores, thereby demonstrating its versatility and adaptability.