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Fast and Accurate Pneumocystis Pneumonia Diagnosis in Human Samples Using a Label-Free Plasmonic Biosensor

AuthorsCalvo, Olalla ; Aviñó, Anna ; Friaza Patiño, Vicente; Medina-Escuela, Alfonso; Huertas, César S.; Calderón, Enrique J. ; Eritja Casadellà, Ramón ; Lechuga, Laura M.
KeywordsPneumocystis jirovecii
Surface plasmon resonance
Optical biosensor
Clinical diagnosis
DNA capture
Issue Date26-Jun-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationNanomaterials 10(6): 1246 (2020)
AbstractPneumocystis jirovecii is a fungus responsible for human Pneumocystis pneumonia, one of the most severe infections encountered in immunodepressed individuals. The diagnosis of Pneumocystis pneumonia continues to be challenging due to the absence of specific symptoms in infected patients. Moreover, the standard diagnostic method employed for its diagnosis involves mainly PCR-based techniques, which besides being highly specific and sensitive, require specialized personnel and equipment and are time-consuming. Our aim is to demonstrate an optical biosensor methodology based on surface plasmon resonance to perform such diagnostics in an efficient and decentralized scheme. The biosensor methodology employs poly-purine reverse-Hoogsteen hairpin probes for the detection of the mitochondrial large subunit ribosomal RNA (mtLSU rRNA) gene, related to P. jirovecii detection. The biosensor device performs a real-time and label-free identification of the mtLSU rRNA gene with excellent selectivity and reproducibility, achieving limits of detection of around 2.11 nM. A preliminary evaluation of clinical samples showed rapid, label-free and specific identification of P. jirovecii in human lung fluids such as bronchoalveolar lavages or nasopharyngeal aspirates. These results offer a door for the future deployment of a sensitive diagnostic tool for fast, direct and selective detection of Pneumocystis pneumonia disease.
Description© 2020 by the authors.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061246
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