The rapid detection of pathogens and other microbial contaminants in food and biological samples is critical for ensuring the safety of consumers. Traditional methods to detect foodborne bacteria often rely on time-consuming growth in culture media, followed by isolation, biochemical identification, and sometimes serology. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is the most prevalent antibody assay format used for pathogen detection in foods. Usually designed as a "sandwich" assay, an antibody bound to a solid matrix is used to capture the antigen from enrichment cultures and a second antibody conjugated to an enzyme is used for detection. The walls of wells in microtiter plates are the most commonly used solid support; but ELISAs have also been designed using dipsticks, paddles, membranes, pipet tips or other solid matrices. Rensselaer inventors established ELCSA protocol as an alternative to ELISA. The ELCSA enables multiplex detection of diverse bacterial pathogens and this assay is highly sensitive and reproducible.

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Natasha Sanford