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Open Access Research article

Rapid and sensitive detection of human astrovirus in water samples by loop-mediated isothermal amplification with hydroxynaphthol blue dye

Bo-Yun Yang1, Xiao-Lu Liu1, Yu-Mei Wei12, Jing-Qi Wang1, Xiao-Qing He1*, Yi Jin1* and Zi-Jian Wang2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Biological Sciences and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Qinghua East Rd 35, P. O. Box 162, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, P. R. China

2 State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P. O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, P. R. China

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BMC Microbiology 2014, 14:38  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-14-38

Published: 14 February 2014



The aim of this paper was to develop a reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) method for rapid, sensitive and inexpensive detection of astrovirus.


The detection limit of LAMP using in vitro RNA transcripts was 3.6×10 copies·μL-1, which is as sensitive as the presently used PCR assays. However, the LAMP products could be identified as different colors with the naked eye following staining with hydroxynaphthol blue dye (HNB). No cross-reactivity with other gastroenteric viruses (rotavirus and norovirus) was observed, indicating the relatively high specificity of LAMP. The RT-LAMP method with HNB was used to effectively detect astrovirus in reclaimed water samples.


The LAMP technique described in this study is a cheap, sensitive, specific and rapid method for the detection of astrovirus. The RT-LAMP method can be simply applied for the specific detection of astrovirus and has the potential to be utilized in the field as a screening test.

Astrovirus; Loop-mediated isothermal amplification; Hydroxynaphthol blue