Lassa Virus Diagnostic Platforms: Limitations and Prospects

Main Article Content

Yahaya Hassan
Abdulhadi Sale Kumurya
Ibrahim Aminu
Sanusi Rahinatu Sharfadi
Abdullahi Alhassan Sharif


Background: Lassa virus (LASV) is the cause of lassa fever (LF) belonging to the Arenaviridae family. Clinical diagnosis is often difficult because of symptoms commonality with other infectious diseases. Early and rapid diagnosis is critical for therapy initiation and LF transmission prevention and control.

Aims: This review aims to highlight current diagnostic platforms and prospects of new emerging sensitive platforms.

Methodology: Available published articles on LASV diagnostics with a focus on current methods: virus culture, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT – PCR) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) were reviewed based on their performances and limitations. Prospects of new diagnostic platforms: mobile health, microfluidic, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated (Cas), Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for LASV diagnosis were also reviewed.

Results: Low sensitivity of the ELISA platform during the window period of LASV infection was observed. Moreover, RT – PCR findings indicated limitation of expertise necessity, cost of thermal cycler, and dedicated facility. Molecular-based point-of-care (POC) diagnostic development should be prioritized to increase speed and sensitivity.

Conclusion: The integration of POC device into molecular isothermal method against LASV scourge will be a success story in curving intermittent outbreaks in endemic areas and prompt clinical management.

Lassa virus, diagnostics, ELISA, PCR, LAMP, CRISPR-Cas

Article Details

How to Cite
Hassan, Y., Kumurya, A. S., Aminu, I., Sharfadi, S. R., & Sharif, A. A. (2020). Lassa Virus Diagnostic Platforms: Limitations and Prospects. Asian Journal of Research in Infectious Diseases, 4(3), 5-17.
Review Article


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