Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Assays for Species-Specific Detection of Eimeria

Researchers based in the UK and the Czech Republic report that they have developed a panel of sensitive species-specific LAMP assays to distinguish between the most important Eimeria parasites that cause coccidiosis in poultry, and that this represents a valuable new cost-effective tool for use in poultry husbandry.
calendar icon 16 January 2012
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Eimeria parasites can cause the disease coccidiosis in poultry and even sub-clinical infection can incur economic loss, according to Christopher Barkway of the Royal Veterinary College in the UK and co-authors there and at BIOPHARM Research Institute of Biopharmacy and Veterinary Drugs in the Czech Republic.

In their paper in BMC Veterinary Research, they explain that diagnosis of infection predominantly relies on traditional techniques including lesion scoring and faecal microscopy despite the availability of sensitive molecular assays, largely due to cost and the requirement for specialist equipment. Despite long-standing proven efficacy, the researchers say, these traditional techniques demand time and expertise, can be highly subjective and may under-diagnose subclinical disease.

Recognition of the tight economic margins prevailing in modern poultry production and the impact of avian coccidiosis on poverty in many parts of the world has highlighted a requirement for a panel of straightforward and sensitive, but cost-effective, Eimeria species-specific diagnostic assays.

Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is an uncomplicated, quick and relatively inexpensive diagnostic tool. In this study, Barkway and co-authors developed a panel of species-specific LAMP assays targeting the seven Eimeria species that infect the chicken. Each assay has been shown to be genuinely species-specific with the capacity to detect between one and 10 eimerian genomes, equivalent to less than a single mature schizont. Development of a simple protocol for template DNA preparation from tissue collected post mortem with no requirement for specialist laboratory equipment supports the use of these assays in routine diagnosis of eimerian infection.

Preliminary field testing supports this hypothesis, the researchers report.

They concluded that the development of a panel of sensitive species-specific LAMP assays introduces a valuable new cost-effective tool for use in poultry husbandry.


Barkway C.P., R.L. Pocock, V. Vrba and D.P. Blake. 2011. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for the species-specific detection of Eimeria that infect chickens. BMC Veterinary Research, 7:67. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-7-67

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on coccidiosis by clicking here.

January 2012
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