Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

Melioidosis is a life-threatening disease in humans caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. As severe septicemic melioidosis can lead to death within 24 to 48 h, a rapid diagnosis of melioidosis is critical for ensuring that an optimal antibiotic course is prescribed to patients. Here, we report the development and evaluation of a bacteriophage tail fiber-based latex agglutination assay for rapid detection of B. pseudomallei infection. Burkholderia phage E094 was isolated from rice paddy fields in northeast Thailand, and the whole genome was sequenced to identify its tail fiber (94TF). The 94TF complex was structurally characterized, which involved identification of a tail assembly protein that forms an essential component of the mature fiber. Recombinant 94TF was conjugated to latex beads and developed into an agglutination-based assay (94TF-LAA). 94TF-LAA was initially tested against a large library of Burkholderia and other bacterial strains before a field evaluation was performed during routine clinical testing. The sensitivity and specificity of the 94TF-LAA were assessed alongside standard biochemical analyses on 300 patient specimens collected from an area of melioidosis endemicity over 11 months. The 94TF-LAA took less than 5 min to produce positive agglutination, demonstrating 98% (95% confidence interval [CI] of 94.2% to 99.59%) sensitivity and 83% (95% CI of 75.64% to 88.35%) specificity compared to biochemical-based detection. Overall, we show how a Burkholderia-specific phage tail fiber can be exploited for rapid detection of B. pseudomallei. The 94TF-LAA has the potential for further development as a supplementary diagnostic to assist in clinical identification of this life-threatening pathogen. IMPORTANCE Rapid diagnosis of melioidosis is essential for ensuring that optimal antibiotic courses are prescribed to patients and thus warrants the development of cost-effective and easy-to-use tests for implementation in underresourced areas such as northeastern Thailand and other tropical regions. Phage tail fibers are an interesting alternative to antibodies for use in various diagnostic assays for different pathogenic bacteria. As exposed appendages of phages, tail fibers are physically robust and easy to manufacture, with many tail fibers (such as 94TF investigated here) capable of targeting a given bacterial species with remarkable specificity. Here, we demonstrate the effectiveness of a latex agglutination assay using a Burkholderia-specific tail fiber 94TF against biochemical-based detection methods that are the standard diagnostic in many areas where melioidosis is endemic.


Veerachat Muangsombut, Patoo Withatanung, Narisara Chantratita, Sorujsiri Chareonsudjai, Jiali Lim, Edouard E Galyov, Orawan Ottiwet, Sineenart Sengyee, Sujintana Janesomboon, Martin J Loessner, Matthew Dunne, Sunee Korbsrisate. Rapid Clinical Screening of Burkholderia pseudomallei Colonies by a Bacteriophage Tail Fiber-Based Latex Agglutination Assay. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2021 May 26;87(12):e0301920

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 33811022

View Full Text