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Special Chemical Biology Seminar

Tuesday, February 15, 2022
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Gates Annex B122
Environment-Sensitive Probes for Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Mireille Kamariza, Junior Research Fellow, Division of Chemistry, Harvard University,

Hybrid Event

Poor diagnostic tools to detect active disease plague tuberculosis (TB) control programs and affect patient care. There is an urgent need for point-of-care TB diagnostic methods that are fast, inexpensive and operationally simple. In this presentation, I demonstrate that mycobacteria and other corynebacteria can be specifically detected with fluorogenic trehalose analogs, designed to undergo an increase in fluorescence intensity when transitioned from aqueous to hydrophobic environments. The trehalose-based labeling enabled the rapid, no-wash visualization of mycobacterial and corynebacterial species within minutes, without nonspecific labeling of Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria. Furthermore, the labeling was reduced by treatment with TB drugs, unlike the clinically used auramine stain. Lastly, Mtb cells in TB-positive human sputum samples stained comparably to auramine staining, suggesting that this operationally simple method may be deployable for TB diagnosis. Beyond TB applications, fluorogenic dyes offer a unique opportunity to selectively probe molecular activity of live cells in real-time with versatile applications in research and medicine.

For more information, please contact Annette Luymes by phone at x6016 or by email at [email protected].