CBNS CI Dr Simon Corrie‘s group recently published two new articles:
Number 1 is a primary paper in ACS Infectious Diseases titled Development of a Multiplexed Microsphere PCR for Culture-Free Detection and Gram-Typing of Bacteria in Human Blood Samples (ACS-ID: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.
Bloodstream infection is a significant clinical problem, particularly in vulnerable patient groups such as those undergoing chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. Clinical diagnostics for suspected bloodstream infection remain centered around blood culture (highly variable timing, in the order of hours to days to become positive), and empiric use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is therefore employed for patients presenting with febrile neutropenia. Gram-typing provides the first opportunity to target therapy (e.g., combinations containing vancomycin or teicoplanin for Gram-positives; piperacillin–tazobactam or a carbapenem for Gram-negatives); however, current approaches require blood culture. In this study, we describe a multiplexed microsphere-PCR assay with flow cytometry readout, which can distinguish Gram-positive from Gram-negative bacterial DNA in a 3.5 h time period. The combination of a simple assay design (amplicon-dependent release of Gram-type specific Cy3-labeled oligonucleotides) and the Luminex-based readout (for quantifying each specific Cy3-labeled sequence) opens opportunities for further multiplexing. We demonstrate the feasibility of detecting common Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms after spiking whole bacteria into healthy human blood prior to DNA extraction. Further development of DNA extraction methods is required to reach detection limits comparable to blood culture.
Number 2 is a review of molecular immunology on immunological sensing published in Molecular Immunology titled The emerging role of nanomaterials in immunological sensing — a brief review (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2017.12.017)
Nanomaterials are beginning to play an important role in the next generation of immunological assays and biosensors, with potential impacts both in research and clinical practice. In this brief review, we highlight two areas in which nanomaterials are already making new and important contributions in the past 5–10 years: firstly, in the improvement of assay and biosensor sensitivity for detection of low abundance proteins of immunological significance, and secondly, in the real-time and continuous monitoring of protein secretion from arrays of individual cells. We finish by challenging the immunology/sensing communities to work together to develop nanomaterials that can provide real-time, continuous, and sensitive molecular readouts in vivo, a lofty goal that will require significant collaborative effort.