: Accurate identification and quantification of allergens is key in healthcare, biotechnology and food quality and safety. Celery (Apium graveolens
) is one of the most important elicitors of food allergic reactions in Europe. Currently, the golden standards to identify, quantify and discriminate celery in a biological sample are immunoassays and two-step molecular detection assays in which quantitative PCR (qPCR) is followed by a high-resolution melting analysis (HRM). In order to provide a DNA-based, rapid and simple detection method suitable for one-step quantification, a fiber optic PCR melting assay (FO-PCR-MA) was developed to determine different concentrations of celery DNA (1 pM–0.1 fM). The presented method is based on the hybridization and melting of DNA-coated gold nanoparticles to the FO sensor surface in the presence of the target gene (mannitol dehydrogenase, Mtd
). The concept was not only able to reveal the presence of celery DNA, but also allowed for the cycle-to-cycle quantification of the target sequence through melting analysis. Furthermore, the developed bioassay was benchmarked against qPCR followed by HRM, showing excellent agreement (R2
= 0.96). In conclusion, this innovative and sensitive diagnostic test could further improve food quality control and thus have a large impact on allergen induced healthcare problems.
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