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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rapid detection of single bacteria in unprocessed blood using Integrated Comprehensive Droplet Digital Detection

  • Author(s): Kang, DK
  • Ali, MM
  • Zhang, K
  • Huang, SS
  • Peterson, E
  • Digman, MA
  • Gratton, E
  • Zhao, W
  • et al.

© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Blood stream infection or sepsis is a major health problem worldwide, with extremely high mortality, which is partly due to the inability to rapidly detect and identify bacteria in the early stages of infection. Here we present a new technology termed 'Integrated Comprehensive Droplet Digital Detection' (IC 3D) that can selectively detect bacteria directly from milliliters of diluted blood at single-cell sensitivity in a one-step, culture- and amplification-free process within 1.5-4h. The IC 3D integrates real-time, DNAzyme-based sensors, droplet microencapsulation and a high-throughput 3D particle counter system. Using Escherichia coli as a target, we demonstrate that the IC 3D can provide absolute quantification of both stock and clinical isolates of E. coli in spiked blood within a broad range of extremely low concentration from 1 to 10,000 bacteria per ml with exceptional robustness and limit of detection in the single digit regime.

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