CRISPR-based diagnostics for rapid oral pathogen detection

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

A study aiming to develop a low-cost, rapid detection technique for the widescale detection and screening of oral microorganisms suitable for point-of-care settings was presented at the 102nd General Session of the IADR, which was held in conjunction with the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research and the 48th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, on March 13-16, 2024, in New Orleans, LA, USA.

The abstract, "Rapid Specific Detection of Oral Pathogens Using CRISPR-Based Diagnostics" was presented during the "Craniofacial Diagnostic Sciences" Oral Session that took place on Friday, March 15, 2024 at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time (UTC-6).

The study, by Batbileg Bor of the ADA Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA, tailored the novel CRISPR-Cas-based diagnostic platform Specific High-Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter Unlocking (SHERLOCK) for the species-specific detection of oral bacterial pathogens and human papillomavirus (HPV) nucleic acids. The investigators developed a computational pipeline capable of generating guide-RNAs and species-specific gene primers suitable for SHERLOCK. These constructs were synthesized by cell-free biosynthesis systems, and their specificity and sensitivity were experimentally validated by fluorescence readings of reporter RNAs.

The study achieved the detection of oral bacteria within the single-molecule range that remained specific in the presence of off-target DNA found within saliva. Furthermore, the assay was refined for detecting common oral pathogens (e.g., P. gingivalis, F. nucleatum) directly from unprocessed saliva samples. The results of the detection, when tested on 30 patient saliva samples, fully aligned with those of other detection methods such as qPCR and 16S rRNA sequencing. As a proof of principle, investigators also specifically detected HPV strains 6, 11, 16, 18, 33, and 35 from gDNA background. 

This method of detecting oral pathogens is highly scalable and can be easily optimized for implementation at point-of-care settings. The detection takes approximately 35 minutes or less, is extremely low cost, and requires no special skills or techniques to run. Because SHERLOCK targets nucleic acid sequences specifically, future assays can be developed to detect other microorganisms (Fungi and Archaea) as well as human gene products. 


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Gene editing gets a boost with new CRISPR-COPIES