Rapid on-farm test developed for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus

Researchers at McMaster University (Ontario, Canada) have developed a new form of rapid test to detect porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in pigs that they say can be adapted to test for other pathogens, and in other animals. Their findings are published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

The test, created by biochemist Yingfu Li and engineer Leyla Soleymani and their colleagues, uses a small sample of saliva to detect the chemical markers of infection.

It employs technology similar to a form of test the same research team recently created to detect COVID-19 and other infections in humans. The human test is now moving toward the marketplace with public research funding and corporate support.

The animal test, once it becomes widely available, is expected to be a valuable tool for identifying and isolating outbreaks in farm settings. The aptamer-based test has been designed to be portable, accurate and quick, allowing veterinarians and other animal caretakers to identify, isolate and treat infected animals quickly.

The test works by mixing a small saliva sample with a chemical reagent and applying the blend to a small microchip reader, which is in turn attached to a smartphone, which displays the results in minutes. The researchers say that one of the greatest technical challenges in developing the PEDV test over the last four years was to extract the infection’s chemical signature from the thick and often contaminated saliva of pigs, using samples collected by veterinarian collaborators.

Clinical evaluation of the biosensor with 12 porcine saliva samples demonstrated a diagnostic sensitivity of 83 % and specificity of 100 % with a concordance value of 92 % at an analysis time of one hour.

The research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Article: Victorious, A., Zhang, Z., Chang, D., Maclachlan, R., Pandey, R., Xia, J., Gu, J., Hoare, T., Soleymani, L., Li, Y. (2022). A DNA Barcode-Based Aptasensor Enables Rapid Testing of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Viruses in Swine Saliva Using Electrochemical Readout. Angewandte Chemie, e202204252, advance online publication, doi: 10.1002/anie.202204252

[SOURCE: McMaster University]