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Biomolecules, Vol. 3, Pages 563-577: A Sensitive DNA Enzyme-Based Fluorescent Assay for Bacterial Detection

20 Aug 2013

Bacterial detection plays an important role in protecting public health and safety, and thus, substantial research efforts have been directed at developing bacterial sensing methods that are sensitive, specific, inexpensive, and easy to use. We have recently reported a novel “mix-and-read” assay where a fluorogenic DNAzyme probe was used to detect model bacterium E. coli. In this work, we carried out a series of optimization experiments in order to improve the performance of this assay. The optimized assay can achieve a detection limit of 1000 colony-forming units (CFU) without a culturing step and is able to detect 1 CFU following as short as 4 h of bacterial culturing in a growth medium. Overall, our effort has led to the development of a highly sensitive and easy-to-use fluorescent bacterial detection assay that employs a catalytic DNA.

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