Andy Sanchez

 -Kirby Lab-

A Serological Alternative: An ACWOP-Based Point-of-Care Sensor for Infectious Diseases with Potential Application in Lyme Disease Detection

Infectious diseases account for 3 of the top 10 causes of death for humans, a threat to global health made even more salient by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Whether for effective contact tracing or more reliably screening Lyme disease patients during the preliminary stages of infection, infectious disease monitoring is a critical tool for modern public health management.

Traditionally, clinical detection of infectious diseases is performed using an ELISA, which captures specific antibodies on an antigen-coated surface. These antibodies are then analyzed using a tagged secondary, which binds to the subject’s primary antibodies in a species-dependent manner. This secondary incubation comes with time and resource costs, as well as limitations when tracking diseases which affect multiple species.

We have developed a novel sensor which bypasses these limitations and could enhance infectious disease monitoring. Our device incorporates the inherent catalytic activity of antibodies, which allows antibodies to convert water to hydrogen peroxide through the Antibody-Catalyzed Water Oxidation Pathway, or ACWOP. An ACWOP sensor allows for the direct detection of immobilized antibodies, eliminating the need for secondary antibodies and associated costs. Because ACWOP works for all antibodies, this sensor could be utilized for many diseases.

In this presentation, I will demonstrate an early stage ACWOP sensor which uses reagents relevant for point-of-care applications. Our proof-of-concept experiments demonstrate a clinically relevant limit of detection. We have begun experiments to adapt this sensor to detect commercially available anti-C6 antibodies. We believe this work could pave the way for a major alternative in infectious disease monitoring across a host of animals and diseases.