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Dye Coupled Aptamer-Captured Enzyme Catalyzed Reaction for Detection of Pan Malaria and P. falciparum Species in Laboratory Settings and Instrument-Free Paper-Based Platform

Singh, Naveen Kumar, Jain, Priyamvada, Das, Smita, Goswami, Pranab
Analytical chemistry 2019 v.91 no.6 pp. 4213-4221
Plasmodium falciparum, absorbance, biomarkers, blood serum, color, detection limit, dyes, fluorescence, glutamate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase, magnetic materials, magnetism, malaria, oligonucleotides, paper, parasites, single-stranded DNA
Malaria diagnosis methods offering species-specific information on the causative parasites, along with their flexibility to use in different resource settings, have great demand for precise treatment and management of the disease. Herein, we report the detection of pan malaria and P. falciparum species using a dye-based reaction catalyzed by the biomarker enzymes Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (PLDH) and Plasmodium falciparum glutamate dehydrogenase (PfGDH), respectively, through instrument-based and instrument-free approaches. For the detection, two ssDNA aptamers specific to the corresponding PLDH and PfGDH were used. The aptamer-captured enzymes were detected through a substrate-dependent reaction coupled with the conversion of resazurin (blue, ∼λ₆₀₅ₙₘ) to resorufin (pink, ∼λ₅₇₀ₙₘ) dye. The reaction was monitored by measuring the fluorescence intensity at λ₆₆₀ₙₘ for resorufin, absorbance ratio (λ₅₇₀ₙₘ/λ₆₀₅ₙₘ), and change in color (blue to pink). The detection approach could be customized to a spectrophotometer-based method and an instrument-free device. For both the approaches, the biomarkers were captured from the serum samples with the help of aptamer-coated magnetic beads prior to the analysis to exclude potential interferences from the serum. In the instrument-free device, a medical syringe (5 mL) prefabricated with a magnet was used for in situ separation of the enzyme-captured beads from the reaction supernatant. The converted dye in the supernatant was then efficiently adsorbed over a DEAE cellulose-treated paper wick assembled in the syringe hose. The biomarkers could be detected by both qualitative and quantitative format following the color and pixel intensity, respectively, developed on the paper surface. The developed method and technique offered detection of the biomarkers within a clinically relevant dynamic range, with the limit of detection values in the picomolar level. Flexible detection capability, low cost, interference-free detections, and portable nature (for instrument-free devices) are the major advantages offered by the developed approaches.