What is the process of running a serum bactericidal activity (SBA) assay?

Synbiosis, a division of Synoptics, focuses on automated colony counters and provides a range of tools to help users with operations such as measuring inhibition zones and spiral plates. Its custom software is time-saving, efficient, and user-friendly for performing SBA assays.

The serum bactericidal activity (SBA) test is primarily used to assess the complement-mediated functional activity in both vaccine-induced antibodies and natural infections.

The World Health Organization has recommended conducting an SBA assay to meet the requirements for producing and releasing certain vaccines, including those for meningitis. These assays are also used to support vaccine licensure.

An SBA assay is extremely useful because it provides a complete picture of the antimicrobial pharmacodynamics (the molecular, biochemical, and physiologic effects of medicine) and pharmacokinetics (how the body interacts with given substances) of pharmaceuticals and vaccines. 

SBA assays are used not only to measure vaccine responses but also to analyze naturally acquired antibody responses, allowing investigators to identify correlations between age-related incidence of various diseases and the existence of bactericidal antibodies.

What is the process of running an SBA assay?

SBA assays are typically set up by preparing a series of serial dilutions and plating the SBA reaction mix onto agar. In this process, the serum is incubated with target bacterial strains and an exogenous source of active complement.

Antibodies specific to the pathogen will bind to the surface of the bacteria, initiating the classical complement pathway as the C1 complement protein binds to the antigen-antibody complex. This pathway results in the destruction of bacteria by cell lysis.

The presence of more antibodies in the serum leads to a greater bacterial kill rate through the complement pathway, resulting in fewer bacterial colonies, or colony-forming units (CFUs), on the plate.

Bactericidal activity is determined by comparing the efficiency of bacterial killing to the controls. The final value reported is the reciprocal of the dilution in which ≥50 % of the bacteria are killed, easily calculated by comparing the results to the positive control.

What is the process of running a serum bactericidal activity (SBA) assay?

Image Credit: Synoptics Ltd

How can Synbiosis help you with this?

Colony counting is one of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks for a microbiologist, and that is where Synbiosis comes in. Automating colony counting streamlines the process, saving laboratory staff time and allowing them to focus on other tasks.

The specific system needed from the ProtoCOL software depends on how the user plates their SBA assay. The SBA module includes a customizable frame with a variable number of rows and columns to fit the plated assay. The software then provides an accurate count for each sector, which can be manually edited if needed, enabling the user to count several sectors within a single image analysis.

What is the process of running a serum bactericidal activity (SBA) assay?

Image Credit: Synoptics Ltd

Other options you may consider include performing a series of dilution plates, which our software can also assist in counting.

The ProtoCOL software features a specific dilution series module that allows you to easily set up and customize a series of dilutions according to your specifications. It quickly measures each plate before automatically moving on to the next dilution in the series.

The dilution values and the order of the series are fully customizable for each batch, making it easy and efficient for the user to achieve the desired results.

Additionally, there is a pour plate module that automates colony counting. Users can then choose to manage the data as they see fit, whether it is part of a dilution series or used independently.

All of these software’s modules produce customizable reports that can be edited to suit your requirements, including:

  • The colony name
  • The dilution factor
  • Count/ml
  • The user who measured the plate
  • The time and date of measurement

In summary, the products offered by Synbiosis can significantly enhance the efficiency and simplicity of conducting an SBA assay for microbiologists. These products provide accurate and reliable colony counts, generate clean and detailed reports, and, most importantly, speed up the colony counting process, freeing laboratory staff for other important duties.

What is the process of running a serum bactericidal activity (SBA) assay?

Image Credit: Synoptics Ltd

About Synoptics Ltd

Synoptics is a prominent Cambridge-based company that has been at the forefront of manufacturing scientific-grade digital imaging systems, water purification systems, and vacuum ovens for over 30 years. The company is comprised of three divisions: Syngene, Synbiosis, and Fistreem, each specializing in specific areas of expertise. With a strong commitment to innovation and quality, Synoptics has established itself as a trusted provider of cutting-edge solutions in the scientific research and laboratory equipment industry.


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Last updated: Jun 20, 2024 at 4:33 AM

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