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Describes a method for in situ detection of viable pathogenic bacteria in a selective medium by measuring cathodic peak current of oxygen on cyclic voltammograms during bacterial proliferation with an electrochemical voltammetric analyzer. The rapid oxygen consumption at a time during the growth of bacteria resulted in a sharp decline of the cathodic peak current curves. The detection times (threshold values) obtained from the cathodic peak current curve were inversely related to the concentrations of the pathogenic bacteria in the medium. This method for detection of pathogenic bacteria is more sensitive than nucleic acid-based polymerase chain reaction methods and any of antibody-based methods such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technology, electrochemical immunoassays, immunosensors, and it has a sensitivity similar to conventional culture methods and impedimetric methods but is more rapid than both of them. A calibration curve was obtained by plotting initial cell concentrations (CFU/ml) determined by conventional plate counting, as a function of the detection time.


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

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Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)


STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The invention was made with Government support under the terms of Grant No. 99-34211-7563 awarded by USDA/CSREES. The Government has certain rights in the invention.

Yanbin Li, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Liju Yang, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Chuanmin Ruan, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering