Immobilizable Scorpion primers for the detection of viral pathogens

IGF 21453 N

Viruses are contagious, sometimes highly infectious pathogens, which can spread quickly and lead to outbreaks of disease with many affected people. Viral pathogens can persist on inanimate surfaces.

Compliance with hygiene guidelines is therefore an essential step in the fight against viral infections. Through targeted cleaning/disinfection measures, it is possible to interrupt infection chains. However, disinfecting cleaning of surfaces and disinfecting reprocessing of textiles requires effective control measures within the framework of hygiene management.

The aim of the research project is to develop immobilizable Scorpion Primers that enable the detection of viral pathogens. The detection principle is based on the specific recognition of viral pathogens by stimulus-sensitive liposomes, which release synthetic DNA double strands upon binding of viral pathogens.

Both DNA strands are amplified isothermally; one strand (S-template) binds to a surface-bound Scorpion Primer. The other complementary strand is amplified in solution, so that the number of S-templates increases linearly with increasing incubation time.

Consequently, the number of Scorpion Primers that are elongated and thus converted to their active, fluorescent form also increases. By immobilizing the Scorpion Primers on an evaluation field, a visual evaluation is possible.

The specific design of the S-template allows the regeneration of the Scorpion Primers by means of a restriction endonuclease. The results of the project will provide cleaning and textile service providers with a test for detecting viral pathogens.

Such a ‘point-of-need’ test would enable them to carry out an in-house self-monitoring of virucidal effect of cleaning/disinfection measures they carry out. Self-monitoring is currently often limited to verifying the bacteriocidal and fungicidal effect, although the cleaning/disinfection measures carried out also have a virucidal effect.

This is partly due to the fact that cultivation of viral pathogens is difficult. Viruses require specific host cells for their replication. Many viral pathogens can only be cultivated at great expense and with a considerable time delay or, in the case of some virus types, they cannot be cultivated at all.

The IGF-pro­ject 21453 N of the re­search as­so­ci­a­tion Europäische Forschungs­ge­mein­schaft Reini­gungs- und Hy­gien­etech­nolo­gie e.V., Cam­pus Ficht­en­hain 11, 47807 Krefeld, is sup­port­ed with­in the fund­ing pro­gram „In­dus­trielle Gemein­schafts­forschung und -en­twick­lung (IGF)“ by the Fed­er­al Min­istry of Eco­nom­ic Af­fairs and Cli­mate Ac­tion due to a de­ci­sion of the Ger­man Par­lia­ment.