Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening is a destructive disease of citrus worldwide and is associated with infection by the vector-borne bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Ca. Liberibacter or CLas). HLB is now widespread in regions of Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, and Puerto Rico, resulting in significant financial implications. Immediate removal of the diseased tree followed by strict quarantine measures appear to be successful in the mitigation of the spread of HLB.
Common testing protocols, using qPCR, are cost prohibitive and routinely take weeks to months after sample collection for results to be made available, limiting on-site decision making. Pilot funding awarded to DxDiscovery and the University of Nevada, Reno by the California Citrus Board allowed for exploration into monoclonal antibody production against a CLas specific target, an initial step in the development of antigen-based detection assays.