CRISPR/Cas-Assisted Colorimetric Biosensor for Point-of-Use Testing for African Swine Fever Virus

ACS Sens. 2022 Dec 23;7(12):3940-3946. doi: 10.1021/acssensors.2c02007. Epub 2022 Nov 18.


African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes a highly contagious and fatal disease affecting both domesticated and wild pigs. Substandard therapies and inadequate vaccinations cause severe economic damages from pig culling and removal of infected carcasses. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a rapid point-of-use approach that assists in avoiding the spread of ASFV and reducing economic loss. In this study, we developed a colorimetric sensing platform based on dual enzymatic amplification that combined the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 12a (Cas12a) system and the enzyme urease for accurate and sensitive detection of ASFV. The mechanism of the sensing platform involves a magnetic bead-anchored urease-conjugated single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide (MB@urODN), which in the presence of ASFV dsDNA is cleaved by activated CRISPR/Cas12a. After magnetically separating the free urease, the presence of virus can be confirmed by measuring the colorimetric change in the solution. The advantage of this method is that it can detect the presence of virus without undergoing a complex target gene duplication process. The established method detected ASFV from three clinical specimens collected from porcine clinical tissue samples. The proposed platform is designed to provide an adequate, simple, robust, highly sensitive and selective analytical technique for rapid zoonotic disease diagnosis while eliminating the need for vast or specialized tools.

Keywords: African swine fever virus; CRISPR/Cas12a; colorimetric; nucleic acid detection; point-of-care test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Swine Fever Virus* / genetics
  • African Swine Fever* / diagnosis
  • African Swine Fever* / genetics
  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics
  • Colorimetry
  • Swine
  • Urease


  • Urease