BackgroundA method for rapid detection of dengue virus using the reverse-transcription recombinase polymerase amplification (RT-RPA) was recently developed, evaluated and made ready for deployment. However, reliance solely on the evaluation performed by experienced researchers in a well-structured and well-equipped reference laboratory may overlook the potential intrinsic problems that may arise during deployment of the assay into new application sites, especially for users unfamiliar with the test. Appropriate assessment of this newly developed assay by users who are unfamiliar with the assay is, therefore, vital.
MethodsAn operational utility test to elucidate the efficiency and effectiveness of the dengue RT-RPA assay was conducted among a group of researchers new to the assay. Nineteen volunteer researchers with different research experience were recruited. The participants performed the RT-RPA assay and interpreted the test results according to the protocol provided. Deviation from the protocol was identified and tabulated by trained facilitators. Post-test questionnaires were conducted to determine the user satisfaction and acceptability of the dengue RT-RPA assay.
ResultsAll the participants completed the test and successfully interpreted the results according to the provided instructions, regardless of their research experience. Of the 19 participants, three (15.8%) performed the assay with no deviations and 16 (84.2%) performed the assay with only 1 to 5 deviations. The number of deviations from protocol, however, was not correlated with the user laboratory experience. The accuracy of the results was also not affected by user laboratory experience. The concordance of the assay results against that of the expected was at 89.3%. The user satisfaction towards the RT-RPA protocol and interpretation of results was 90% and 100%, respectively.
ConclusionsThe dengue RT-RPA assay can be successfully performed by simply following the provided written instructions. Deviations from the written protocols did not adversely affect the outcome of the assay. These suggest that the RT-RPA assay is indeed a simple, robust and efficient laboratory method for detection of dengue virus. Furthermore, high new user acceptance of the RT-RPA assay suggests that this assay could be successfully deployed into new laboratories where RT-RPA was not previously performed.