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J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Oct 25;56(11). pii: e00908-18. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00908-18. Print 2018 Nov.

Ultrasensitive Detection of Clostridioides difficile Toxins A and B by Use of Automated Single-Molecule Counting Technology.

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Singulex, Inc., Alameda, California, USA
Singulex, Inc., Alameda, California, USA.
TriCore Reference Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.
Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.
Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Stanford Health Care, Stanford, California, USA.


Current tests for the detection of Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile free toxins in feces lack sensitivity, while nucleic acid amplification tests lack clinical specificity. We have evaluated the Singulex Clarity C. diff toxins A/B assay (currently in development), an automated and rapid ultrasensitive immunoassay powered by single-molecule counting technology, for detection of C. difficile toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB) in stool. The analytical sensitivity, analytical specificity, repeatability, and stability of the assay were determined. In a clinical evaluation, frozen stool samples from 311 patients with suspected C. difficile infection were tested with the Clarity C. diff toxins A/B assay, using an established cutoff value. Samples were tested with the Xpert C. difficile/Epi assay, and PCR-positive samples were tested with an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) (C. Diff Quik Chek Complete). EIA-negative samples were further tested with a cell cytotoxicity neutralization assay. The limits of detection for TcdA and TcdB were 0.8 and 0.3 pg/ml in buffer and 2.0 and 0.7 pg/ml in stool, respectively. The assay demonstrated reactivity to common C. difficile strains, did not show cross-reactivity to common gastrointestinal pathogens, was robust against common interferents, allowed detection in fresh and frozen stool samples and in samples after three freeze-thaw cycles, and provided results with high reproducibility. Compared to multistep PCR and toxin-testing procedures, the Singulex Clarity C. diff toxins A/B assay yielded 97.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The Singulex Clarity C. diff toxins A/B assay is ultrasensitive and highly specific and may offer a standalone solution for rapid detection and quantitation of free toxins in stool.


C. difficile; single-molecule counting technology; ultrasensitivity

[Available on 2019-04-25]

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