Analytical biochemistry

Hyperthermostable binding molecules on phage: Assay components for point-of-care diagnostics for active tuberculosis infection.

PMID 28062210


Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide. The low sensitivity, extended processing time, and high expense of current diagnostics are major challenges to the detection and treatment of tuberculosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis ornithine transcarbamylase (Mtb OTC, Rv1656) has been identified in the urine of patients with active TB infection and is a promising target for point-of-care diagnostics. Specific binding proteins with low nanomolar affinities for Mtb OTC were selected from a phage display library built upon a hyperthermostable Sso7d scaffold. Phage particles displaying Sso7d variants were utilized to generate a sandwich ELISA-based assay for Mtb OTC. The assay response is linear between 2 ng/mL and 125 ng/mL recombinant Mtb OTC and has a limit of detection of 400 pg/mL recombinant Mtb OTC. The assay employing a phage-based detection reagent is comparable to commercially-available antibody-based biosensors. Importantly, the assay maintains functionality at both neutral and basic pH in presence of salt and urea over the range of concentrations typical for human urine. Phage-based diagnostic systems may feature improved physical stability and cost of production relative to traditional antibody-based reagents, without sacrificing specificity and sensitivity.