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Anal Chem. 2008 Dec 1;80(23):9005-12. doi: 10.1021/ac801342m.

Identification of viruses using microfluidic protein profiling and Bayesian classification.

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  • 1Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California 94551-0969, USA.


We present a rapid method for the identification of viruses using microfluidic chip gel electrophoresis (CGE) of high-copy number proteins to generate unique protein profiles. Viral proteins are solubilized by heating at 95 degrees C in borate buffer containing detergent (5 min), then labeled with fluorescamine dye (10 s), and analyzed using the microChemLab CGE system (5 min). Analyses of closely related T2 and T4 bacteriophage demonstrate sufficient assay sensitivity and peak resolution to distinguish the two phage. CGE analyses of four additional viruses--MS2 bacteriophage, Epstein-Barr, respiratory syncytial, and vaccinia viruses--demonstrate reproducible and visually distinct protein profiles. To evaluate the suitability of the method for unique identification of viruses, we employed a Bayesian classification approach. Using a subset of 126 replicate electropherograms of the six viruses and phage for training purposes, successful classification with non-training data was 66/69 or 95% with no false positives. The classification method is based on a single attribute (elution time), although other attributes such as peak width, peak amplitude, or peak shape could be incorporated and may improve performance further. The encouraging results suggest a rapid and simple way to identify viruses without requiring specialty reagents such as PCR probes and antibodies.

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