Comparative analysis of rapid agglutination latex test using single-chain antibody fragments (scFv) versus the gold standard vero cell assay for Shiga toxin (Stx) detection

The latex agglutination test using single-chain antibody fragments (scFvStx1 and scFvStx2) coupled to latex particles, was compared with the gold standard Vero cell assay for Shiga toxin (Stx) detection, aiming to estimate the diagnosis potential of these scFv fragments in a rapid and straightforward test. The latex complexes identified the presence of the toxins up to a 1:8 dilution in the majority of the evaluated strains. Moreover, the Stx concentration was indirectly determined in Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, allowing detection limit inference. A Stx dilution curve was constructed, and the data was analyzed in a non-linear model by second-order polynomial regression for prediction (p-value of 0.001 and a R2 above 0.98 were considered for correlations). The detection limit was 30ng/mL for Stx1 and 10ng/mL for Stx2. The scFvStx1 and scFvStx2 coupled to latex nanoparticles provide a toxin assay with a competitive Stx detection limit, which has a low cost and short execution time. The diagnostic method proposed here, using, for the first time, recombinant antibody fragments, raises the possibility of developing a more affordable test to be used in the routine detection and surveillance of STEC infections.
Keywords
RALT;  STEC;  Diagnosis;  Shiga toxin

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Shiga EA, Guth B.E.C., Piazza RMF, Luz D. Comparative analysis of rapid agglutination latex test using single-chain antibody fragments (scFv) versus the gold standard vero cell assay for Shiga toxin (Stx) detection. J. Microbiol. Methods. 2020 Jun;175:105965. doi:10.1016/j.mimet.2020.105965.
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