A RAPID, SIMPLE TEST FOR THE CORAL PATHOGEN VIBRIO CORALLIILYTICUS USING A SENSITIVE LATERAL FLOW “DIPSTICK” IMMUNOASSAY.
Vibrio coralliilyticus is a bacterial pathogen of both corals and shellfish larvae that is currently difficult to detect and manage. Commercial shellfish hatcheries are frequently experiencing dramatic losses due to vibriosis and we have developed a novel lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) that can detect V. coralliilyticus contamination in these rearing facilities. However, as the organism is also known to cause severe disease in corals and we are now exploring the possibility of utilizing this test as a coral disease diagnostic tool. The test is a rapid LFA that can measure extremely low levels of a protein toxic for corals and shellfish (the VcpA zinc-metalloprotease) secreted by V. coralliilyticus. We report here that the LFA test can measure VcpA levels as low as 5 ng/ml, which is 20-fold lower than the level of VcpA that causes noticeable mortality of shellfish larvae in the laboratory. LFAs are simple and easy to perform (home pregnancy test kits are common examples) and do not require any external instrumentation other than an eyedropper to apply several drops of sample to the sample port. Readout is visual and can be qualitative (plus/minus) or quantitative, as the signal strength is proportional to the amount of antigen present in the sample. We anticipate that this test will provide a useful tool for coral disease diagnostics as it provides real-time, on-site, early detection of bacterial presence.
Hase, C. C., Oregon State University, USA, email@example.com
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