3× multiplexed detection of antibiotic resistant plasmids with single molecule sensitivity†
Bacterial pathogens resistant to antibiotics have become a serious health threat. Those species which have developed resistance against multiple drugs such as the carbapenems, are more lethal as these are last line therapy antibiotics. Current diagnostic tests for these resistance traits are based on singleplex target amplification techniques which can be time consuming and prone to errors. Here, we demonstrate a chip based optofluidic system with single molecule sensitivity for amplification-free, multiplexed detection of plasmids with genes corresponding to antibiotic resistance, within one hour. Rotating disks and microfluidic chips with functionalized polymer monoliths provided the upstream sample preparation steps to selectively extract these plasmids from blood spiked with E. coli DH5α cells. Waveguide-based spatial multiplexing using a multi-mode interference waveguide on an optofluidic chip was used for parallel detection of three different carbapenem resistance genes. These results point the way towards rapid, amplification-free, multiplex analysis of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.