Sensitive Method for Detection and Quantification of Anthrax, Bordetella pertussis, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium botulinum and Other Pathogen-Derived Toxins in Human and Animal Plasma

CDC research scientists have developed a method to identify and quantify the activity of pathogenic bacterial adenylate cyclase toxins by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Bacterial protein toxins are among the most potent natural poisons known, causing paralysis, immune system collapse, hemorrhaging and death in some cases. A useful tool for quantitative detection of specific toxin activity in clinical samples will provide insights into the kinetics of intoxication, stage of infection and present stage of pathogenesis.

This rapid, high-throughput analysis method will provide measurements that quantify the efficacy of toxin-based therapeutics and support patient management decisions during treatment. This technology is specific, ultrasensitive and can be implemented to detect toxins from a wide range of pathogenic bacteria. This method could be fabricated into a kit format to deliver to state or research laboratories for use during an anthrax emergency or for research purposes, i.e. animal studies evaluating anthrax therapeutics. This technology may be easily applied to detection/diagnosis of additional pathogenic bacterial species infections as well.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Detect toxins from a wide range of pathogenic bacteria
  • Biodefense, biosecurity diagnostics
  • Presently no individual patient screening assay for anthrax-exposure is widely available; exposure is determined by public health investigation and environmental-sampling tests
  • Current tests lack sensitivity and evidence of effectiveness
  • Relatively rapid and exquisitely sensitive method for the detection and quantification of bacterial toxin activity from very small blood samples, accurately assessing exposure and infection

Development Stage:
  • In vitro data available
  • In vivo data available (animal)
  • In vivo data available (human)

Related Invention(s):


Conrad Quinn (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Anne Boyer (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Renato Lins (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Zsuzsanna Kuklenyik (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

John Barr (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: - issued -
PCT Application No. PCT/US2011/059739 filed on 2011-11-08
US Application No. 13/878,378 filed on 2013-04-08

Duriez E, et al. PMID 19522516
Boyer AE, et al. PMID 21403598

Licensing Contact:
Karen Surabian, J.D., M.B.A.
Phone: 301-594-9719

OTT Reference No: E-167-2013-0
Updated: Mar 3, 2017