The reliability of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), initially developed for the detection of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7), was evaluated in this study. Although a LAMP product was detected in HHV-7 DNA, neither HHV-6 nor human cytomegalovirus DNA produced a product. When agarose gel electrophoresis was used for the detection of LAMP products, the sensitivity of a 30-min HHV-7 LAMP reaction reached 250 copies/tube. The use of turbidity for the detection of the LAMP products gave a sensitivity of 500 and 250 copies/tube for 30- and 60-min reactions, respectively. Following these initial validation studies, clinical samples collected from two patients with primary HHV-7 infections were examined by HHV-7 LAMP. By use of agarose gel electrophoresis, HHV-7 LAMP products could be detected in acute-phase plasma samples but no LAMP product was detectable in convalescent-phase plasma samples from either patient. Since a turbidity assay is less sensitive than agarose gel electrophoresis, no HHV-7 LAMP product could be detected in plasma samples after a 30-min LAMP reaction. After a 60-min LAMP reaction, HHV-7 LAMP product could be detected in acute-phase plasma samples.
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