An electrochemical biosensor for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA from sputum and urine samples

Daniel Ramos-Sono, Raúl Laureano, Daniel Rueda, Robert H. Gilman, Adolfo La Rosa, Jesús Ruiz, Raúl León, Patricia Sheen, Mirko Zimic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global public health problem with high mortality and morbidity. In low-middle income countries (LMIC) a large number of respiratory symptomatic cases that require TB screening per year demands more accurate, fast and affordable testing for TB diagnostics. Sputum smear is the initial screening test in LMICs, however, its sensitivity is limited in patients with low sputum bacilli load. The same limitation is observed in the currently available molecular tests. We designed, standardized and evaluated an electrochemical biosensor that detects the highly specific DNA insertion element 6110 (IS6110). A PCR amplified DNA product is hybridized on the surface of the working electrode built on FTO-Glass with immobilized specific DNA probes, after which cyclic voltammetry is performed with an Ag/AgCl reference electrode and a platinum counter electrode. The response of the sensor was measured by the ratio (cathodic peak current of the hybridized sensor) / (cathodic peak current of the non-hybridized sensor). We tested the biosensor, using positive hybridization control sequences, genomic DNA extracted from M. tuberculosis strains and sputum of TB patients, and extracted DNA from the urine of healthy controls spiked with M. tuberculosis DNA. This biosensor was effective for the detection of M. tuberculosis DNA with a detection limit of 16 fM in sputum sample and 1 fM in spiked urine samples. The low cost and the relatively brief duration of the assay make this an important TB screening tool in the fight against tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0241067
JournalPloS one
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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