New biosensor for most serious form of Listeria food poisoning bacteria

April 23, 2009
Schematic drawing (top left) of a microfluidic biochip for capturing Listeria. A prototype chip, top right, is connected with microfluidic tubings, and at bottom are images of bacteria on a chip. Credit:The American Chemical Society.

( -- Scientists in Indiana are reporting development of a new biosensor for use in a faster, more sensitive test for detecting the deadliest strain of Listeria food poisoning bacteria. That microbe causes hundreds of deaths and thousands of hospitalizations each year in the United States, particularly among people with weakened immune systems. Their study appears in the current issue of ACS’ Analytical Chemistry.

Arun Bhunia and colleagues note in the new study that fast, highly effective tests already are available for five of the six known species of Listeria. These tests use antibodies that signal the presence of the bacteria. However, no rapid, sensitive tests are available for detecting Listeria monocytogenes, the deadliest of the species, the researchers say.

The scientists describe development of the biosensor using so-called heat shock proteins — which the body produces in response to stress — instead of the antibodies used in other tests. They showed that their new sensor was faster and more sensitive at detecting the deadly than antibody-based tests. It had a microbe capture rate up to 83 percent higher than antibody-based tests.

The new biosensor will reduce the likelihood of false-positive results for Listeria monocytogenes and may lead to improved tests for detecting other types of dangerous pathogens, the researchers say.

Provided by American Chemical Society (news : web)

Explore further: Radiation-killed bacteria vaccine created

Related Stories

Detecting flu viruses in remote areas of the world

July 14, 2008

Researchers in Ohio and New Mexico are reporting an advance in the quest for a fast, sensitive test to detect flu viruses — one that requires no refrigeration and can be used in remote areas of the world where new flu viruses ...

Recommended for you

A new form of real gold, almost as light as air

November 25, 2015

Researchers at ETH Zurich have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible ...

New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible

November 25, 2015

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a first-of-its-kind self-healing gel that repairs and connects electronic circuits, creating opportunities to advance the ...

Getting under the skin of a medieval mystery

November 23, 2015

A simple PVC eraser has helped an international team of scientists led by bioarchaeologists at the University of York to resolve the mystery surrounding the tissue-thin parchment used by medieval scribes to produce the first ...

Atom-sized craters make a catalyst much more active

November 24, 2015

Bombarding and stretching an important industrial catalyst opens up tiny holes on its surface where atoms can attach and react, greatly increasing its activity as a promoter of chemical reactions, according to a study by ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.