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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Shu, Peixun
item Shelton, Daniel
item Karns, Jeffrey
item Sundaram, Appavu
item Li, Shuhong
item Amstutz, Peter
item Tang, Cha-mei

Submitted to: Biosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2005
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Citation: Shu, P., Shelton, D.R., Karns, J.S., Sundaram, A., Li, S., Amstutz, P., Tang, C. 2005. Detection of water borne E. coli using the integrated waveguide biosensor. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 21:678-683.

Interpretive Summary: There is increasing concern regarding the impact of water-borne pathogens on human health. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 is a serious health threat, particularly in children. It causes bloody diarrhea and, if not treated promptly, can result in kidney failure and death. There are an estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157 infections per year in the U.S., of which approximately 11,000 are water-borne. At present, the risk from water-borne transmission of E. coli O157 cannot be estimated because there are no reliable methods for the detection and enumeration of these organisms in water samples. Scientists with USDA and Creatv MicroTech, Inc are collaborating on the development of a biosensor for detection of E. coli O157 in water samples. The cells are captured by antibodies attached to the inside of a glass capillary tube. The cells are detected using a second antibody coupled to a flourescent molecule which emits light when illuminated with a laser. The biosensor can quantitatively detect from 10 to 10,000 cells per capillary tube. In addition, cells can be cultured inside capillary tubes within the presence of growth media, or ruptured for direct analysis using genetic methods. The goal of this research is to produce a field biosensor for the rapid detection of E. coli O157 and other water-borne pathogens.

Technical Abstract: An integrated waveguide biosensor is described for the detection of water-borne E. coli O157, based on a sandwich immunoassay performed inside glass capillary tubes (waveguide). In vitro microbial growth and cell lysis are also documented. The biosensor allows for sensitive and quantitative detection (10 cells), cell amplification and compatibility with PCR and microarray technologies.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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