Farmers prefer fast, sensitive, and on-site tests for treatment decisions on mastitis. Due to the time to results of the currently available diagnostic tools, these are rarely used for that purpose. Genotypic tests that do not require a growth step may be suitable for on-site testing, for example loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), which has been described as a sensitive test that can be used on-site. Therefore, this study aimed to develop and evaluate LAMP assays for the detection of a subset of mastitis-causing pathogens, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus spp., in milk from cows with clinical mastitis. Furthermore, a generic nucleic acid lateral flow immunoassay (NALFIA) was evaluated as a potential on-site readout of the LAMP assays. For each assay of LAMP and NALFIA, the limit of detection and analytical specificity were determined using isolates, and the diagnostic specificity was determined using selected samples with known etiology. In addition, the diagnostic specificity of LAMP was determined using field samples with unknown etiology at testing. Bacteriological culture with identification by mass spectrometry was used as a reference method. The 4 assays had a kappa ≥0.73 with the reference method when testing the selected samples, but ≥0.47 when testing field samples. After correcting for prevalence, kappa was ≥0.80 for the E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and Staph. aureus assays. The Streptococcus spp. assay had a kappa of 0.47 (0.48 after correction) with the reference method, probably caused by the assay broadly targeting a genus instead of a particular species. The NALFIA readout was found to have kappa ≥0.81 for the E. coli, Staph. aureus, and Streptococcus spp. assays at a generic runtime, but for the K. pneumoniae assay a shorter runtime could be used. In conclusion, LAMP is a promising method for fast on-site tests for mastitis-causing pathogens if the current elaborate method for sample preparation is replaced by a simplified protocol. The NALFIA is an easy and reliable readout for on-site use, with the observation that for the current assay designs a generic runtime is not yet possible for the chosen set of pathogens. If associated with a simple and fast sample preparation protocol, the combination of LAMP and NALFIA has the potential to enable fast and reliable on-site testing of clinical mastitis milk samples.
- dairy cattle
- loop-mediated isothermal amplification
- nucleic acid lateral flow assay
- on-site mastitis test