The dramatically increasing prevalence of multi‐drug‐resistant human pathogenic bacteria and related mortality requires two key actions: (i) decisive initiatives for the detection of novel antibiotics and (ii) a global ban for use of antibiotics as growth promotants in stock farming. Both key actions entail technology for precise, high‐sensitive detection of antibiotic substances either to detect and validate novel anti‐infective structures or to enforce the non‐use of clinically relevant antibiotics. We have engineered prokaryotic antibiotic response regulators into a molecular biosensor configuration able to detect tetracycline, streptogramin, and macrolide antibiotics in spiked liquids including milk and serum at ng/mL concentrations and up to 2 orders of magnitude below current Swiss and EC threshold values. This broad‐spectrum, class‐specific, biosensor‐based assay has been optimized for use in a storable ready‐to‐use and high‐throughput‐compatible ELISA‐type format. At the center of the assay is an antibiotic sensor protein whose interaction with specific DNA fragments is responsive to a particular class of antibiotics. Binding of biosensor protein to the cognate DNA chemically linked to a solid surface is converted into an immuno‐based colorimetric readout correlating with specific antibiotics concentrations. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering – Wiley
Published: Jan 5, 2005
Keywords: broad‐spectrum biosensors; antibiotic detection; multi‐drug‐resistant human pathogenic bacteria
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