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Issue 15, 2012
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Bacteriophage based probes for pathogen detection

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Rapid and specific detection of pathogenic bacteria is important for the proper treatment, containment and prevention of human, animal and plant diseases. Identifying unique biological probes to achieve a high degree of specificity and minimize false positives has therefore garnered much interest in recent years. Bacteriophages are obligate intracellular parasites that subvert bacterial cell resources for their own multiplication and production of disseminative new virions, which repeat the cycle by binding specifically to the host surface receptors and injecting genetic material into the bacterial cells. The precision of host recognition in phages is imparted by the receptor binding proteins (RBPs) that are often located in the tail-spike or tail fiber protein assemblies of the virions. Phage host recognition specificity has been traditionally exploited for bacterial typing using laborious and time consuming bacterial growth assays. At the same time this feature makes phage virions or RBPs an excellent choice for the development of probes capable of selectively capturing bacteria on solid surfaces with subsequent quick and automatic detection of the binding event. This review focuses on the description of pathogen detection approaches based on immobilized phage virions as well as pure recombinant RBPs. Specific advantages of RBP-based molecular probes are also discussed.

Graphical abstract: Bacteriophage based probes for pathogen detection

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Mar 2012, accepted on 15 May 2012 and first published on 16 May 2012

Article type: Minireview
DOI: 10.1039/C2AN35371G
Analyst, 2012,137, 3405-3421

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    Bacteriophage based probes for pathogen detection

    A. Singh, D. Arutyunov, C. M. Szymanski and S. Evoy, Analyst, 2012, 137, 3405
    DOI: 10.1039/C2AN35371G

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