Cellulase-Linked Immunomagnetic Microbial Assay on Electrodes: Specific and Sensitive Detection of a Single Bacterial Cell

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Pathogen-associated infections represent one of the major threats to human health and require reliable methods for immediate and robust identification of pathogenic microorganisms. Here, an inexpensive cellulase-linked immunomagnetic methodology was developed for the specific and ultrasensitive analysis of bacteria at their single-cell levels within a 3 h procedure. Detection of a model bacterium, Escherichia coli, was performed in a sandwich reaction with E. coli-specific either aptamer or antibody (Ab)-modified magnetic beads (MBs) and Ab/aptamer reporter molecules linked to cellulase. The cellulase-labeled immuno-aptamer sandwich applied onto nitrocellulose-film-modified electrodes digested the film and changed its electrical conductivity. Electrode's chronocoulometric responses at 0.3 V, in the absence of any redox indicators, allowed a single E. coli cell detection and from 1 to 4 × 104 CFU mL-1 E. coli quantification. No interference/cross-reactivity from Salmonella enteritidis, Enterobacter agglomerans, Pseudomonas putida, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus subtilis was observed when the assay was performed on Ab-modified MBs, and E. coli could be quantified in tap water and milk. This electrochemically label-free methodology is sufficiently fast, highly specific, and sensitive to be used in direct in-field applications. The assay can be adapted for specific detection of other bacterial strains of either the same or different species and offers new analytical tools for fast, specific, and reliable analysis of bacteria in the clinic, food, and environment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume92
Issue18
Pages (from-to)12451-12459
Number of pages9
ISSN0003-2700
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • AFFINITY CONSTANTS, ANTIBODIES, BIOSENSORS, DNA, E. COLI, ELECTROCHEMICAL ASSAY, PATHOGENS, PROTEINS, QUANTIFICATION, RAPID DETECTION

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