doi:10.1038/nindia.2013.95 Published online 19 July 2013
Researchers have fabricated a new sensor that can quickly detect Vibrio cholerae, the cholera-causing bug, in clinical samples.
Conventional diagnosis methods of cholera are based on culture of bacterium, biochemical reactions and agglutination tests against serogroup-specific antisera. The whole process of V. cholerae isolation and identification takes at least 2-3 days and during this period, the disease can spread explosively.
PCR tests takes 3-4 hours and require expertise in molecular biology. Besides this, false positivity of PCR has been reported especially in commercial assays due to cross-reactions. Therefore, rapid and sensitive diagnosis has been the need to detect the infectious disease at an early stage.
The researchers created a nanostructured Magnesium Oxide (nanoMgO) based electrochemical DNA biosensor. It exhibits a sensitivity of 16.80 nA/ng/cm2, faster than any available sensor, and has a response time of 2 seconds. It also has a lower detection limit of 59.12 ng/µL with good reproducibility.
The researchers say it could be a do-it-yourself diagnostic tool for early detection of such pathogenic diseases. They say the suggested method can be extended for diagnosis of other pathogenic diseases.