Specific pathogen detection using bioorthogonal chemistry and diagnostic magnetic resonance
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
The development of faster and more sensitive detection methods capable of identifying specific bacterial species and strains has remained a longstanding clinical challenge. Thus to date, the diagnosis of bacterial infections continues to rely on the performance of time-consuming microbiological cultures. Here, we demonstrate the use of bioorthogonal chemistry for magnetically labeling specific pathogens to enable their subsequent detection by nuclear magnetic resonance. Antibodies against a bacterial target of interest were first modified with trans-cyclooctene and then coupled to tetrazine-modified magnetic nanoprobes, directly on the bacteria. This labeling method was verified by surface plasmon resonance as well as by highly specific detection of Staphylococcus aureus using a miniaturized diagnostic magnetic resonance system. Compared to other copper-free bioorthogonal chemistries, the cycloaddition reaction reported here displayed faster kinetics and yielded higher labeling efficiency. Considering the short assay times and the portability of the necessary instrumentation, it is feasible that this approach could be adapted for clinical use in resource-limited settings.