Gold Nanoparticles & Magnetic Microbeads Enable Novel Isothermal DNA Amplification and Quantitative Detection of Leishmania DNA and Other Point-of-Care Tests in Veterinary & Other Applications

In an article published online on November 18, 2015 in Small, researchers successfully applied a new qualitative and quantitative method for the detection of a DNA sequence characteristic of Leishmania infantum kinetoplast, a frequent parasite in veterinary animals that also affects humans. The article is titled “Magnetic Bead/Gold Nanoparticle Double-Labeled Primers for Electrochemical Detection of Isothermal Amplified Leishmania DNA.” The effort was led by Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) researchers in colaboration with University of Barcelona (UAB) researchers, within the POC4PETS European Project, aimed to improving the speed and accuracy of current diagnostics for veterinary pathogens. The work was carried out at the ICN2, a research Center placed in the Campus of the Autonomous UAB in Bellaterra, and at the UAB spin-off company Vetgenomics. This research was coordinated at ICN2 by ICREA Professor Arben Merkoçi, Leader of the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group, and Dr. Alfredo de la Escosura-Muñiz (first author of the article) with the collaboration of Luis Pires, Ph.D. student from the same group. The work was carried out in collaboration with Professor Armand Sanchez, Dr. Olga Francino, Dr. Laura Altet, and Lorena Serrano from Vetgenomics. Their results are part of the bio-applications defined in the ICN2 Severo Ochoa Program “Devices for Social Challenges.” The present work has been published within the POC4PETS European Project (, coordinated by the Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna (Italy) and aimed at improving the speed and accuracy of current diagnostics for veterinary pathogens.
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