Bridging Flocculation of a Sterically Stabilized Cationic Latex as a Biosensor for the Detection of Microbial DNA after Amplification via PCR

Elisabeth Trinh, Lauren j. Batt, Qi Yue, Ruiling Du, Samuel t. Jones, Lee a. Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a high demand for rapid, sensitive, and accurate detection methods for pathogens. This paper demonstrates a method of detecting the presence of amplified DNA from a range of pathogens associated with serious infections including Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and viruses. DNA is amplified using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and consequently detected using a sterically stabilized, cationic polymer latex. The DNA induces flocculation of this cationic latex, which consequently leads to rapid sedimentation and a visible change from a milky-white dispersion to one with a transparent supernatant, presenting a clear visible change, indicating the presence of amplified DNA. Specifically, a number of different pathogens were amplified using conventional or qPCR, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-2). This method was demonstrated to detect the presence of bacteria in suspension concentrations greater than 380 CFU mL–1 and diagnose the presence of specific genomes through primer selection, as exemplified using methicillin resistant and methicillin susceptible Staphylococcus aureus. The versatility of this methodology was further demonstrated by showing that false positive results do not occur when a PCR of fungal DNA from C. albicans is conducted using bacterial universal primers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomacromolecules
Early online date15 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Absorption
  • Bacteria
  • Flocculation
  • Genetics
  • Sedimentation

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