Detection of E. coli O157:H7 by immunomagnetic separation coupled with fluorescence immunoassay.Biosens Bioelectron. 2011 Dec 15; 30(1):337-41.BB
Conventional culture-based methods for detection of E. coli O157:H7 in foods and water sources are time-consuming, and results can be ambiguous, requiring further confirmation by biochemical testing and PCR. A rapid immunoassay prior to cultivation to identify presumptive positive sample would save considerable time and resources. Immunomagnetic separation (IMS) techniques are routinely used for isolation of E. coli O157:H7 from enriched food and water samples, typically in conjunction with cultural detection followed by biochemical and serological confirmation. In this study, we developed a new method that combines IMS with fluorescence immunoassay, termed immunomagnetic fluorescence assay (IMFA), for the detection of E. coli O157:H7. E. coli O157:H7 cells were first captured by anti-O157 antibody-coated magnetic beads and then recognized by a fluorescent detector antibody, forming an immunosandwich complex. This complex was subsequently dissociated for measurement of fluorescence intensity with Signalyte™-II spectrofluorometer. Experiments were conducted to evaluate both linearity and sensitivity of the assay. Capture efficiencies were greater than 98%, as determined by cultural plating and quantitative real-time PCR, when cell concentrations were <10(5) cells/mL. Capture efficiency decreased at higher cell concentrations, due to the limitation of bead binding capacity. At lower cell concentrations (10-10(4) cells/mL), the fluorescence intensity of dissociated Cy5 solution was highly correlated with E. coli 157:H7 cell concentrations. The detection limit was 10 CFU per mL of water. The assay can be completed in less than 3 h since enrichment is not required, as compared to existing techniques that typically require a 24 h incubation for pre-enrichment, followed by confirmatory tests.