A lateral flow assay for identification of Escherichia coli by ribosomal RNA hybridisation
Existing technologies for analysis of microbiological contaminants in food or clinical samples are often expensive and require laboratory settings and trained personnel. Here we present a lateral flow assay employing gold nanoparticle–oligodeoxynucleotide conjugates and four-component sandwich hybridisation for direct detection of specific sequences in bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA. Combined with rapid “one step” lysis the developed procedure allows detection of 5 × 104 colony forming units per mL Escherichia coli within less than 25 minutes. Several Escherichia coli strains were detected successfully, whereas non-related as well as closely related bacterial species produced no signal. The developed nucleic acid lateral flow assay is inexpensive, rapid to perform and requires no nucleic acid amplification step.