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Sensitive Detection of Staphylococcus aureus with Vancomycin-Conjugated Magnetic Beads as Enrichment Carriers Combined with Flow Cytometry

Meng, Xiangyu, Yang, Guotai, Li, Fulai, Liang, Taobo, Lai, Weihua, Xu, Hengyi
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017 v.9 no.25 pp. 21464-21472
Bacillus cereus, Cronobacter sakazakii, Escherichia coli O157, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Enteritidis, Staphylococcus aureus, antibacterial properties, antibodies, bovine serum albumin, detection limit, flow cytometry, fluorescein, fluorescence, immunoglobulin G, isothiocyanates, swine, vancomycin
A novel sandwich strategy was designed to detect Staphylococcus aureus. The strategy is based on an antibacterial agent that captures bacterial cells and a fluorescein-labeled antibody that acts as the signal-output probe. Vancomycin (Van), which exerts a strong antibacterial effect on Gram-positive bacteria, was utilized as a molecular recognition agent to detect pathogenic bacteria. To effectively concentrate S. aureus, we used bovine serum albumin (BSA) as the amplification carrier to modify magnetic beads (MBs), which were then functionalized with Van. To improve the specificity of the method for S. aureus detection, we adopted fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-tagged pig immunoglobulin G (FITC-pig IgG) as the signal probe and the second recognition agent that bound between the Fc fragment of pig IgG and protein A in the surface of S. aureus. To quantify S. aureus, we measured the fluorescence signal by flow cytometry (FCM). The use of multivalent magnetic nanoprobes (Van-BSA-MBs) showed a high concentration efficiency (>98%) at bacterial concentrations of only 33 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL. Furthermore, the sandwich mode (FITC-pig IgG/SA/Van-BSA-MBs) also showed ideal specificity because Van and IgG bound with S. aureus at two distinct sites. The detection limit for S. aureus was 3.3 × 10¹ CFU/mL and the total detection process could be completed within 120 min. Other Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Cronobacter sakazakii, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Salmonella Enteritidis, negligibly interfered with S. aureus detection. The proposed detection strategy for S. aureus possesses attractive characteristics, such as high sensitivity, simple operation, short testing time, and low cost.