CRISPR-Cas12a combination to alleviate the false-positive in loop-mediated isothermal amplification-based diagnosis of Neisseria meningitidis

BMC Infect Dis. 2022 May 4;22(1):429. doi: 10.1186/s12879-022-07363-w.


Background: Loop isothermal amplification (LAMP) has recently been proposed as a point-of-care diagnostic tool to detect acute infectious pathogens; however, this technique embeds risk of generating false-positive results. Whereas, with abilities to accurately recognize specific sequence, the CRISPR/Cas12a can forms complexes with cognate RNA sensors and cleave pathogen's DNA targets complimerntary to its cognate RNA, afterward acquiring the collateral activity to unbiasedly cut nearby off-target fragments. Therefore, if relevant fluorescent-quencher-nucleic probes are present in the reaction, the non-specific cleavage of probes releases fluorescences and establish diagnostic read-outs.

Methods: The MetA gene of N. meningitidis was selected as target to optimize the LAMP reaction, whereas pseudo-dilution series of N. meningitidis gemonics DNA was used to establish the detection limit of LAMP/Cas12a combination assay. The diagnostic performance of established LAMP/Cas12a combination assay was validated in comparation with standard real-time PCR on 51 CSF samples (14 N. meningitidis confirmed patients and 37 control subjects).

Results: In relevant biochemical conditions, CRISPR-Cas12a and LAMP can work synchronously to accurately identify genetics materials of Nesseria menitigistis at the level 40 copies/reaction less than 2 h.

Conclusions: In properly optimized conditions, the CRISPR-Cas12a system helps to alleviate false positive result hence enhancing the specificity of the LAMP assays.

Keywords: CRISPR; Cas12a; LAMP; Nesseria menitigistis; PCR.

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • DNA
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
  • Neisseria meningitidis* / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods
  • RNA


  • RNA
  • DNA

Supplementary concepts

  • LAMP assay