Point-of-care detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in water using AuNPs-based aptasensor

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s): Access to safe drinking and irrigation water has always been one of the major human concerns worldwide. Thus, rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive approaches for pathogenic bacteria detection, such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC) that can induce important infectious diseases, are highly on demand.
Materials and Methods: In this study, a sensitive aptamer-based AuNPs bioassay was developed that demonstrated its potential to detect EHEC. In the presence of the target bacterium, the specific adsorbed aptamer, leaves AuNPs surface and interacts with EHEC. The bare nanoparticles aggregate in the presence of NaCl and the color shifts from red to purple and blue depending on the bacterial concentration.
Results: The proposed aptasensor exhibited a good linear response over a wide concentration range of 876 to 107 CFU/ml and was closely correlated with the line equation of “y=0.0094x+0.0006” (R2= 0.9861). It also showed a low detection limit (LOD) of 263 CFU/ml (Signal/Noise=3). No response was recorded in the presence of other tested bacterial strains including Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella typhi, indicating the high selectivity of the aptasensor.
Conclusion: This biosensor may be used as a smart device to screen water reservoirs and prevents the outbreak of EHEC-related life-threatening contagious diseases.


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