A rapid two dot filter assay for the detection of E. coli O157 in water samples.J Immunol Methods. 2008 Jul 31; 336(2):159-65.JI
E. coli O157:H7 is an enterohemorrhagic bacteria that cause deadly water-borne infections implicated in outbreaks of a wide spectrum of human gastrointestinal diseases. It is therefore important to have a rapid convenient, simple and sensitive range of detection of E. coli O157:H7. A new E. coli O157 MAb designated P124 was developed for ultrasensitive detection of E. coli O157 in water, apple juice and beef for routine use. A prototype filter dot assay was designed with anti-E. coli O157 MAb bound to 0.2 microm nitrocellulose filter disk as the capture antibody. A 100 ml water sample spiked with 1-50 CFU of E. coli O157 either in the presence or absence of other non-specific bacteria were filtered for capture of the pathogen on the antibody coated nitrocellulose disk. The detection of the pathogen was successfully accomplished by the same antibody both as a capture and detecting antibody as a homosandwich. In a non-enriched format, detection of E. coli was possible with a sensitivity of 2500 CFU/100 ml. Ultrasensitive detection of ~1 CFU/100 ml sample could be achieved by a prior pathogen enrichment step before the addition of the labeled antibody. The design of this diagnostic test is based on the common architecture of all bacteria, viruses and spores, namely the manifestation of repeat lipopolysaccharide epitopes on the surface. We have developed an easy-to-use two dot visual filter assay for translation into current water testing in public health laboratories to detect E. coli O157:H7. In a 5 h assay approximately 1 CFU and approximately 5 CFU of E. coli O157 could be detected in 100 ml of water or juice and lake samples respectively. This simple homosandwich enrichment strategy can also be used to detect low levels of other water-borne pathogens.