7.2. Lateral flow immunoassay (LFI)

A commercially available lateral flow device for the detection of M. plutonius using specific monoclonal antibodies is available. The kit was designed primarily for the confirmation of disease symptoms in the field, but may also be used in the laboratory (Tomkies et al., 2009). The kit is produced by Vita (Europe) Ltd and the protocols available at: http://www.vita-europe.com. Using LFIs gives an instant result, meaning no time delay between disease suspicion and treatment, no expensive equipment required and is relatively cheap compared to posting the samples to the laboratory for diagnosis. However, it works only on single larvae and requires field knowledge to select the correct/infected larvae in a brood sample (see section 1.2).