Electrochemical oxidase test for identifying and quantifying bacteria

Electrochemistry enables the detection and quantification of bacterial oxidases in biological samples within minutes.  Researchers at the University of Oxford have transferred the principle of the oxidase test, commonly used for detecting oxidase-positive bacteria, onto an electrochemical setup, outperforming conventional culture methods and techniques in molecular biology by reducing the analysis time and costs for the detection of pathogenic bacteria.

The global microbial identification market is expected to reach $3 billion by 2022. This includes pathogen detection, human disease diagnosis, pharmaceuticals and food and beverage safety.  Rapid and cost-effective methods for measuring bacteria are vital for these industries.

Detecting oxidase-positive bacteriaThe oxidase test is a well-known method for detecting bacteria that produce cytochrome C oxidase.  The test reagent, N,N,N’,N’-tetramethyl-para-phenylene-diamine (TMPD), turns blue in the presence of oxidase-positive bacteria and can therefore be used to detect the presence of certain pathogens.  Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed an electrochemical method of deploying TMPD for the detection of oxidase-positive bacteria, an important improvement to the colorimetric test.

The electrochemical oxidase test can be used for detection and quantification of bacteria in biological samples.  It offers an accurate, fast and inexpensive analysis method for pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. The Oxford Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that cytochrome c oxidase expression can be measured in aerobically grown E. coli, which is currently not possible using any other method. The technique can be applied to a range of pathogenic bacteria and can be used in biosensing technology.

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