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Rapid Colorimetric Detection of Bacterial Species through the Capture of Gold Nanoparticles by Chimeric Phages.

  • Author(s): Peng, Huan
  • Chen, Irene A
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.8b06395
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Abstract

Rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive detection of bacterial pathogens is an important goal for several aspects of human health and safety. We present a simple strategy for detecting a variety of bacterial species based on the interaction between bacterial cells and the viruses that infect them (phages). We engineer phage M13 to display the receptor-binding protein from a phage that naturally targets the desired bacteria. Thiolation of the engineered phages allows the binding of gold nanoparticles, which aggregate on the phages and act as a signal amplifier, resulting in a visible color change due to alteration of surface plasmon resonance properties. We demonstrate the detection of two strains of Escherichia coli, the human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio cholerae, and two strains of the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris. The assay can detect ∼100 cells with no cross-reactivity found among the Gram-negative bacterial species tested here. The assay can be performed in less than an hour and is robust to different media, including seawater and human serum. This strategy combines highly evolved biological materials with the optical properties of gold nanoparticles to achieve the simple, sensitive, and specific detection of bacterial species.

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