Development of a mAb library targeting Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis antigens for the field diagnosis of chytridiomycosis.

Michael Dillon, Jamie R. Stevens, Michael J Bungard, Andrew E Bowkett, Matthew C Fisher, Christopher R Thornton

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Fungal diseases are a growing threat to the health of global ecosystems. The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) causes chytridiomycosis, a catastrophic disease of amphibians (frogs, salamanders and caecilians) responsible for the greatest disease-driven loss of biodiversity ever documented. Rapid detection and biosecurity are essential to prevent further extinctions as the global spread of a hyper-virulent lineage of Bd is linked to the international trade in amphibians. The World Organisation for Animal Health has listed Bd as an internationally notifiable disease and yet current diagnostic methods for monitoring occurrence and spread of the fungus are time-consuming and cannot be carried out in the field. DNA-based techniques such as PCR are the most effective detection methods at present, but require transportation of potentially infectious material to diagnostic laboratories manned by skilled scientists and equipped with costly and sophisticated equipment. While results are potentially available in a matter of hours, they typically take several days or even weeks to appear by which time diseased amphibians have been transported from sites of infection. Consequently, there is a pressing need for the development of cheap and user-friendly diagnostic assays that can be used by unskilled workers in the field to rapidly identify infected animals and prevent the spread of the disease to fungus-free populations. One such method is the lateral- flow assay (LFA), a rapid (10 min), cheap, point-of-care test (POCT) that incorporates monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific to disease-causing organisms and utilises the same simple but powerful technology as pregnancy tests. The goal of the present study is to develop an LFA for the rapid field diagnosis of chytridiomycosis. To this end, we have developed a library of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting Bd antigens and have begun characterising these based on isotype, affinity, and specificity, in order to determine the best possible candidates for a prototype LFA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventHealth and disease in translocated wild animals - ZSL Institute of Zoology, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 May 201515 May 2015


ConferenceHealth and disease in translocated wild animals
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Antibody
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Diagnostic
  • lateral flow assay
  • Lateral Flow Immunoassay
  • Amphibian
  • chytridiomycosis
  • Batrachochytrium
  • infectious disease
  • emerging infectious disease
  • fungal disease
  • chytrid fungus


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