Biotechnology-based detection systems and sensors are in use for a wide range of applications in biomedicine, including the diagnostics of viral pathogens. In this review, emerging detection systems and their applicability for diagnostics of viruses, exemplified by the case of avian influenza virus, are discussed. In particular, nano-diagnostic assays presently under development or available as prototype and their potentials for sensitive and rapid virus detection are highlighted.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causing agent of tuberculosis, comes second only after HIV on the list of infectious agents slaughtering many worldwide. Due to the limitations behind the conventional detection methods, it is therefore critical to develop new sensitive sensing systems capable of quick detection of the infectious agent. In the present study, the surface modified cadmium-telluride quantum dots and gold nanoparticles conjunct with two specific oligonucleotides against early secretory antigenic target 6 were used to develop a sandwich-form fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensor to detect M. tuberculosis complex and differentiate M. tuberculosis and M. bovis Bacille Calmette-Guerin simultaneously. The sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed biosensor were 94.2% and 86.6%, respectively, while the sensitivity and specificity of polymerase chain reaction and nested polymerase chain reaction were considerably lower, 74.2%, 73.3% and 82.8%, 80%, respectively. The detection limits of the sandwich-form fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensor were far lower (10 fg) than those of the polymerase chain reaction and nested polymerase chain reaction (100 fg). Although the cost of the developed nanobiosensor was slightly higher than those of the polymerase chain reaction-based techniques, its unique advantages in terms of turnaround time, higher sensitivity and specificity, as well as a 10-fold lower detection limit would clearly recommend this test as a more appropriate and cost-effective tool for large scale operations.
Due to the low titer or uneven distribution of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) in field samples, detection of CTV by using conventional detection techniques may be difficult. Therefore, in the present work, the cadmium-telluride quantum dots (QDs) was conjugated with a specific antibody against coat protein (CP) of CTV, and the CP were immobilized on the surface of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to develop a specific and sensitive fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based nanobiosensor for detecting CTV. The maximum FRET efficiency for the developed nano-biosensor was observed at 60% in AuNPs-CP/QDs-Ab ratio of 1:8.5. The designed system showed higher sensitivity and specificity over enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with a limit of detection of 0.13μgmL(-1) and 93% and 94% sensitivity and specificity, respectively. As designed sensor is rapid, sensitive, specific and efficient in detecting CTV, this could be envisioned for diagnostic applications, surveillance and plant certification program.