Immunochromatographic assay for quantitative and sensitive detection of hepatitis B virus surface antigen using highly luminescent quantum dot-beads.

PMID 26003704


Hepatitis B virus infection is one of the major causes of hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. In this study, we used highly luminescent quantum dot-beads (QBs) as signal amplification probes in the sandwich immunochromatographic assay (ICA) for ultrasensitive and quantitative detection of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) in human serum. Various parameters that influenced the sensitivity and stability of the QB-based ICA (QB-ICA) sensor were investigated. Two linear independent regression equations for detection of serum HBsAg were expressed with Y=0.3361X-0.0059 (R(2)=0.9983) for low HBsAg concentrations between 75 pg mL(-1) and 4.8 ng mL(-1), and Y=0.8404 X-2.9364 (R(2)=0.9939) for high HBsAg concentrations in the range from 4.8 ng mL(-1) to 75 ng mL(-1). The detection limit of the proposed ICA sensor achieved was 75 pg mL(-1), which is much higher than that of the routinely-used gold nanoparticle based ICA. The intra- and inter-assays recovery rates for spiked serum samples at HBsAg concentrations of 75 pg mL(-1), 3.75 ng mL(-1) and 18.75 ng mL(-1) ranged from 90.14% to 97.6%, and coefficients of variation were all below 7%, indicating that the QB-ICA sensor has an acceptable accuracy for HBsAg detection. Additionally, the quantitative method developed showed no false positive results in an analysis of 49 real HBsAg-negative serum samples, and exhibited excellent agreement (R(2)=0.9209) with a commercial chemiluminescence immunoassay kit in identifying 47 HBsAg-positive serum samples. In summary, due to its high fluorescence intensity, the sandwich QB-ICA sensor is a very promising point-of-care test for rapid, simple and ultrasensitive detection of HBsAg, as well as other disease-related protein biomarkers.