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25th World Congress on Cancer Science and Therapy

Baltimore, USA

James O McNamara

The University of Iowa, USA

Title: Bacterial nucleases as signal-amplifying biomarkers for infectious disease diagnostics


Biography: James O McNamara


Rapid and sensitive methods are currently needed for the detection of many important bacterial pathogens. The diversity of nucleases and their presence in all living organisms make them an attractive class of biomarkers for such applications. Moreover, in contrast to most biomarkers, the enzymatic activity of nucleases can be used for signal amplification in assays that detect them. An important advantage of this approach is that it is not subject to the background that results from the non-specific adherence of exogenous enzymes (e.g., HRP-coupled antibodies binding to ELISA plates). We have developed various rapid and ultrasensitive assays that detect target bacterial species with quenched fluorescent oligonucleotide substrates that are selectively digested (and thereby activated) by their nucleases. The author will discuss applications that have been developed with this platform, including rapid culture-independent detection of 1) urinary tract infections via detection of endonuclease I (of E. coli) and 2) S. aureus bacteremia via detection of micrococcal nuclease.