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Casein-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles for Amperometric Detection of Leishmania infantum

Institut Pasteur de Tunis, LR11IPT03, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Veterinary Microbiology (LEMV), Tunis-Belvédère 1002, Tunisia
Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al Kahrj 11942, Saudi Arabia
Université Tunis El Manar, Tunis 1068, Tunisia
The Ångström Laboratory, Division of Solid State Physics, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, 75121 Uppsala, Sweden
Institut Pasteur de Tunis, LR11IPT02, Laboratory of Transmission, Control and Immunobiology of Infections (LTCII), Tunis-Belvédère 1002, Tunisia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 68;
Received: 17 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Based Biosensors for Food and Health Monitoring)
Sensitive and reliable approaches targeting the detection of Leishmania are critical for effective early diagnosis and treatment of leishmaniasis. In this frame, this paper describes a rapid quantification assay to detect Leishmania parasites based on the combination of the electrocatalytic ability of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to act as a catalyst for the hydrogen formation reaction along with the specificity of the interaction between casein and the major surface protease of the Leishmania parasite, GP63. First, pure and casein-modified AuNPs were prepared and characterized by scanning electron microscopy and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy. Then, casein-conjugated AuNPs were incubated with Leishsmania parasites in solution; the formed complex was collected by centrifugation, treated by acidic solution, and the pelleted AuNPs were placed on screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs) and chronoamperometric measurements were carried out. Our results suggest that it is possible to detect Leishmania parasites, with a limit less than 1 parasite/mL. A linear response over a wide concentration interval, ranging from 2 × 10−2 to 2 × 105 parasites/mL, was achieved. Additionally, a pretreatment of Leishmania parasites with Amphotericin B, diminished their interaction with casein. This findings and methodology are very useful for drug efficacy assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Leishmania infantum; gold nanoparticles; casein; chronoamperometry; GP63 Leishmania infantum; gold nanoparticles; casein; chronoamperometry; GP63
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Diouani, M.F.; Ouerghi, O.; Belgacem, K.; Sayhi, M.; Ionescu, R.; Laouini, D. Casein-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles for Amperometric Detection of Leishmania infantum. Biosensors 2019, 9, 68.

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