A Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) ELISA detection system was developed based upon an 11-mer cyclic peptide, termed C11-019, that was identified through peptide phage display technology. The assay employs a sandwich format using the C11-019 cyclic peptide attached to a PEMA (poly(ethylene maleic anhydride)) matrix as the capture phase and anti-BoNT/A polyclonal antibodies as the detection phase. Results reported demonstrate that the C11-019 peptide-polymer can specifically bind to BoNT/A with no cross-reactivity to other serotypes examined in assay buffers and a variety of body fluids and foodstuffs. When a highly sensitive chemiluminescent substrate was engaged, the detection of 1 pg/mL could be readily achieved within 3 h with a linear range of 0.1-1 ng/mL. These results demonstrate that an inexpensive peptide-polymer-based capture ELISA system can be used for rapid, sensitive and highly specific BoNT detection.
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