Analyst. 2021 Apr 22. doi: 10.1039/d1an00350j. Online ahead of print.
For periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) patients, an early and rapid detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in joint synovial fluid is of great significance for receiving timely treatment and avoiding side effects. In clinical practice, the methods for detecting MRSA include the culture-based method and the PCR-based mecA gene detection method with fluorescent readout. However, the culture-based method requires up to 3-7 days for incubation and elaborative screening. The PCR-based molecular diagnosis, due to its high sensitivity, improves the detection time but sacrifices cost and gives false-positive results. Herein, a ligation chain reaction (LCR)-based electrochemical biosensor was developed to detect the mecA of MRSA with the advantages of rapidity, accuracy and low cost. In this system, an integrated dsDNA labeled with thiol and biotin at both terminals is generated only in the presence of the target DNA after LCR, followed by immobilization of the integrated dsDNAs on the bovine serum albumin (BSA)-coated gold electrode, and then the streptavidin horseradish peroxidase (SA-HRPs) is specifically bound to the biotin labels via biotin-streptavidin interaction, generating the catalytic amperometric readout. Impressively, the developed method achieved the detection of rare mecA in the joint synovial fluid of PJI patients (417-666 copies as quantified by qPCR). The proposed electrochemistry-based method is highly convenient for the point-of-care testing and was comparable with PCR in sensitivity, but superior in selectivity (single-base differentiation) and cost (nanomolar DNA probe consumption and simple device), demonstrating its huge potential in clinical applications for MRSA diagnosis.