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J Transl Med. 2011 Jun 7;9:85. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-9-85.

Rapid label-free identification of mixed bacterial infections by surface plasmon resonance.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Southwest Hospital, the Third Military Medical University, Chong Qing, PR China.



Early detection of mixed aerobic-anaerobic infection has been a challenge in clinical practice due to the phenotypic changes in complex environments. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor is widely used to detect DNA-DNA interaction and offers a sensitive and label-free approach in DNA research.


In this study, we developed a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) amplification technique and modified the traditional SPR detection system for rapid and simultaneous detection of mixed infections of four pathogenic microorganisms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium tetani and Clostridium perfringens).


We constructed the circulation detection well to increase the sensitivity and the tandem probe arrays to reduce the non-specific hybridization. The use of 16S rDNA universal primers ensured the amplification of four target nucleic acid sequences simultaneously, and further electrophoresis and sequencing confirmed the high efficiency of this amplification method. No significant signals were detected during the single-base mismatch or non-specific probe hybridization (P < 0.05). The calibration curves of amplification products of four bacteria had good linearity from 0.1 nM to 100 nM, with all R(2) values of >0.99. The lowest detection limits were 0.03 nM for P. aeruginosa, 0.02 nM for S. aureus, 0.01 nM for C. tetani and 0.02 nM for C. perfringens. The SPR biosensor had the same detection rate as the traditional culture method (P < 0.05). In addition, the quantification of PCR products can be completed within 15 min, and excellent regeneration greatly reduces the cost for detection.


Our method can rapidly and accurately identify the mixed aerobic-anaerobic infection, providing a reliable alternative to bacterial culture for rapid bacteria detection.

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