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Counting of single prion particles bound to a capture-antibody surface (surface-FIDA).

Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Institute of Physical Biology, Universitätsstrasse 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.
Veterinary Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.73). 09/2007; 123(4):294-304. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2007.04.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hitherto accredited prion tests use the PK resistance of PrP(Sc), the pathogenic isoform of the prion protein, as a marker for the disease. Because of variations in the amount of disease-related aggregated PrP, which is not PK-resistant, these prion tests offer only limited sensitivity. Therefore, a prion detection method that does not rely on PK digestion would allow for the detection of both PK-resistant as well as PK-sensitive PrP(Sc). Furthermore, single particle counting is more sensitive than methods measuring an integrated signal. Our new test system is based on dual-colour fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). This method quantifies the number of protein aggregates that have been simultaneously labelled with two different antibodies using dual-colour fluorescence intensity distribution analysis (2D-FIDA). This only counts PrP aggregates, and not PrP monomers. To increase the sensitivity, PrP(Sc) was concentrated in a two-dimensional space by immobilizing it so that the antibodies could be captured on the surface of the slide (surface-FIDA). When the surface was systematically scanned, even single prion particles were detected. Using this new technique, the sensitivity to identify samples from scrapie-infected hamster as well as BSE-infected cattle can be dramatically increased in comparison with identification using FIDA in solution.

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