Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Rapid fluorescence detection of pathogenic bacteria using magnetic enrichment technique combined with magnetophoretic chromatography.

PMID 28664335


A rapid and sensitive analytical method was developed to detect pathogenic bacteria which combined magnetic enrichment, fluorescence labeling with polyethylene glycol (PEG) magnetophoretic chromatography. As pathogenic bacteria usually exist in complex matrixes at low concentration, an efficient enrichment is essential for diagnosis. In order to capture series types of pathogenic bacteria in samples, amino-modified magnetic nanoparticles (Fe3O4@SiO2-NH2) were prepared for efficient enrichment by the electrostatic interaction with pathogenic bacteria. It was shown that the capture efficiency reached up to 95.4% for Escherichia coli (E. coli). Furthermore, quantitative analysis of the bacteria was achieved by using acridine orange (AO) as a fluorescence probe for the captured E. coli due to its ability of staining series types of bacteria and rapid labeling. In order to remove the free magnetic nanoparticles and redundant fluorescent reagent, the labeled suspension was poured into a PEG separation column and was separated by applying an external magnetic field. The presence of 100 cfu mL(-1) E. coli could be detected for semi-quantitative analysis by observing the separation column with the naked eye, and the concentration could be further evaluated by fluorescence detection. All the above processes were finished within 80 min. It was demonstrated that a good linear relationship existed between the fluorescence intensity and the concentration of E. coli ranging from 10(2) to 10(6) cfu mL(-1), with a detection limit of 100 cfu mL(-1) when E. coli acted as target bacteria. The recovery rate of E. coli was 93.6∼102.0% in tap water and cooked meat samples, and the RSD was lower than 7% (n = 6); the result coincided with the conventional plate count method. Graphical abstract ᅟ.