A novel approach for evaluating the performance of real time quantitative loop-mediated isothermal amplification-based methods

Gavin J. Nixon, Helle F. Svenstrup,  Carol E. Donald, Caroline Carder, Judith M. Stephenson, Stephen Morris-Jones, Jim F. Huggett, Carole A. Foy
Biomolecular Detection and Quantification, Vol 2, December 2014, Pages 4–10
Published December 2014
Link to publication: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214753514000096


Molecular diagnostic measurements are currently underpinned by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There are also a number of alternative nucleic acid amplification technologies, which unlike PCR, work at a single temperature. These ‘isothermal’ methods, reportedly offer potential advantages over PCR such as simplicity, speed and resistance to inhibitors and could also be used for quantitative molecular analysis. However there are currently limited mechanisms to evaluate their quantitative performance, which would assist assay development and study comparisons. This study uses a sexually transmitted infection diagnostic model in combination with an adapted metric termed isothermal doubling time (IDT), akin to PCR efficiency, to compare quantitative PCR and quantitative loop-mediated isothermal amplification (qLAMP) assays, and to quantify the impact of matrix interference. The performance metric described here facilitates the comparison of qLAMP assays that could assist assay development and validation activities.

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