Bacterial Detection Using Catalytic DNA
Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Michael G. DeGroote Institute of Infectious DiseaseResearch,
McMaster University, Canada
There have been growing concerns over food- or water-bornepathogens and drug-resistant bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections(HAIs). Frequent outbreaks caused by these pathogens place a significant demandfor the development of rapid, sensitive, reliable, and often portable devicesor assays for early detection of specific pathogens.Our laboratory has beendevelopingdiagnostics for bacterial detectionthrough the creation of novelcatalytic DNA molecules known as “RNA-cleaving fluorescence-signalling DNAzymes(RFDs)”. We have derived several specific RFD probes using a double-randomselection approach that does not require a priori identification and purificationof relevant biomarkers from a given pathogen. We have also employed theseprobes for the design of highly sensitive fluorescent or colorimetric assays ordevices that are easy to use. In this presentation I will discuss the progresswe have made and challenges we have encountered from the basic and appliedstudies of two RFD probes that are capable of tracking E. coli (a commonwater/food-borne pathogen)and C. difficle (a common cause forhealthcare-associatedinfections in North America and Europe).