Veterinary Research (Jun 2021)

Potential applications of aptamers in veterinary science

  • Solène Niederlender,
  • Jean-Jacques Fontaine,
  • Grégory Karadjian

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 52, no. 1
pp. 1 – 20


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Abstract Aptamers are small nucleic acids that fold in a three-dimensional conformation allowing them to bind specifically to a target. This target can be an organic molecule, free or carried in cells or tissues, or inorganic components, such as metal ions. Analogous to monoclonal antibodies, aptamers however have certain advantages over the latter: e.g., high specificity for their target, no to low immunogenicity and easy in vitro selection. Since their discovery more than 30 years ago, aptamers have led to various applications, although mainly restricted to basic research. This work reviews the applications of aptamers in veterinary science to date. First, we present aptamers, how they are selected and their properties, then we give examples of applications in food and environmental safety, as well as in diagnosis and medical treatment in the field of veterinary medicine. Because examples of applications in veterinary medicine are scarce, we explore the potential avenues for future applications based on discoveries made in human medicine. Aptamers may offer new possibilities for veterinarians to diagnose certain diseases—particularly infectious diseases—more rapidly or “at the patient’s bedside”. All the examples highlight the growing interest in aptamers and the premises of a potential market. Aptamers may benefit animals as well as their owners, breeders and even public health in a “One Health” approach.